Sunday, October 24, 2010

Starting pitcher

We saw a pitcher plant when we were at Volo Bog two weeks ago. They were right along the boardwalk in the middle of the bog, where the water/soil/peat is too acidic for most plants. I did a little research and it turns out New World pitcher plants are members of the Sarracenia genus. They are made of rolled leaves rather than leaf tendrils like the Nepenthes pitcher plants. The pitcher plants we saw presumably were Sarracenia purpurea, one of eight North American species. All of the other species are in the Southeast, but purpurea extends north and west into Canada. We are at the southern extent of its range. It's fun to imagine Volo Bog as a tiny bit of taiga in Illinois.

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