Purple Pitcher Plant

By William T. Hathaway

Purple Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia purpurea)

This Pitcher-Plant is also known as a type of “flytrap.” I spotted the tall-stemmed purple flower from quite a distance before taking a look at camouflaged leaves clustered in a sphagnum bog. An inspection of the leaves revealed just what the botany books described: the colorful-lipped upper end of the leaves collects water and attract insects. These insects oftentimes fall backwards when trying to crawl upwards, since they are blocked by a mat of downward curved hairs. Eventually the insects drop into the plant's digestive juices located at the bottom of the hollow leaves.

I photographed this specimen in the Green Swamp area of Brunswick County, North Carolina.

(See also other carnivorous plants.)