Sarracenia-North American Pitcher Plants
Sarracenia are usually the focus of a hardy carnivorous planting. They are a natural for water's edge or in a bog garden. We recommend mulching where temperatures drop below zero (zone 6-7). North of zone 6 plants must be given protection to prevent sudden, prolonged, deep freezing. Sarracenia need at least six hours of direct sun during spring and summer for best growth. Care and planting information
S. alata - the Pale Pitcher Plant. Very slender, tall pitchers reaching 26 inches or more. Leaves are yellow green with red veining or zones. Blossoms are pale yellow and essentially unscented. This species requires full sun with no shade. Best leaf production is in the late-summer/fall (photos of Texan and Black-red form). The Black-red form has pitchers that reach 30 inches or more. The pitchers get their best dark color in late summer and need a peat moss,(tannic), soil mix.
S. flava - the Yellow Pitcher Plant. Tall funnels with a wide variety of color variants (photo). Flowers are large, yellow and have a boxwood-like odor. Quite hardy and showy. Spring pitcher production is the strongest. (photos of color forms)
S. leucophylla - - the White-topped pitcher. Probably the showiest species. The pitchers are beautifully marbled with red and green veins, and the blossoms are burgundy (photos). Strongest pitcher production is in late August-September and often lasts into mid-December. Great for dried foliage. A must for collectors.
S. leucophylla -'Titan'. Bred and selected at Botanique. Fall pitchers can reach 38 inches tall or more. This is an extra-vigorous and hardy selection with wide mouthed pitchers and the classic stained-glass variegation found in the species (photo). Makes a bold statement in bog gardens.
S. leucophylla - Hot Pink Selections! The spring pitchers are nothing compared to the late summer/fall display (photo). From our own breeding programs.
S.minor - the Hooded Pitcher plant - Pitchers are about 6-10 inches tall and sprinkled on the back side with translucent windows. These confuse prey as to which way is out. The flowers are yellow and appear later in the season than most species. This is one of the trickier plants to maintain as they are less cold hardy and less resistant to diseases. Requires full sun and wet, though well drained conditions. A very cool plant, but not recommended for beginners.
S. psittacina - the Parrot Pitcher Plant. This species produces flat rosettes of teardrop-shaped pitchers with a bulbous head that resemble a parrot's head when viewed from the side. The leaves are beautifully marked with red veins and white spots. The flowers are deep red and tend to open later in the season than other species, extending the flowering season in the bog garden. Essentially windproof, the parrot pitcher is a good candidate for planting near paths that pass near the bog garden. It also is good to create contrast, or space around taller types. Since the flat rosettes are only a few inches high, plant them up close rather than behind tall types where they can get hidden. When habitats flood, this species traps aquatic creatures through a small hole in the hood. Several forms have been recognized. Delightfully strange!
S. purpurea - the Purple Pitcher Plant.The most familiar and widespread species, and hardy. Pitchers form rosettes (photo). They are green, usually with red veins or zones, and turning a deep burgundy with the onset of cold weather. Flowers are various shades of pink. A good beginner's choice.
S. purpurea ssp. venosa var. burkii - A southern variety with fatter pitchers and more compact habit. It has a pale umbrella on the flower's bottom. The petals are shades of pink and the flower stalk is often under 10-12 inches high.
S. rubra subspecies rubra - typical North Carolina form. The 5-7 inch tall leaves are green to bronzy green with thin red veins. Flowers are red. Seldom offered or seen these days. The plants are a bit more difficult than other rubras, needing sandy peat with moisture yet good drainage.(We normally recommend S. rubra var. wherryi as a sturdier plant.)
S. rubra subspecies gulfensis -all green - This is an unusual and fairly sturdy plant that does not show any red pigment in the flowers or pitchers. In the bog garden, it stands out with a glowing yellow-green color (photo). The pitchers reach about 7-11 inches tall ans are produced in abundance on established plants. Definitely a collector's item.
S. rubra subspecies wherryi- A choice wildflower with short, golden-green pitchers that are about eight inches tall with very thin red veins (photos). Produces many leaves until harsh weather. The 1 1/2- 2 inch flowers are dark red with a delightful, soft fragrance. The plants rapidly form small clumps with many blossoms. Pitcher season peaks in late summer-fall. The leaves are wider, usually more golden than the northern races.
For vigor and color, it's hard to beat these hybrids. Botanique has developed many hybrids by blending parentage (using our finest stock plants), selecting from hundreds of seedlings, finally choosing the best. This process takes years, but the resulting plants are worth it. Check back, as we will be releasing new hybrids in the future.
S. flava x purpurea - A naturally occurring hybrid with orange colored flowers and squat semi-erect pitchers that are usually less than 10 inches tall. Useful in terrariums and quite hardy. The flowers are typically large, 3-4 -inches.
S. leucophylla x purpurea - Deep rose flowers and colorful foliage make this naturally occurring hybrid a favorite. The leaves start out green with red and become increasingly maroon with white spots (photo). Seldom over 10 inches high, its pitchers are semi-erect and hold water. Hardy and good looking.
S. 'Lime Ice' - This selection features wonderful, cool green flowers that seem to hover over the ground. The petals fade to a cream color (photo). Pitchers average 10-12 inches and are medium green with red venation. (S.oreophila X alata selection)
S. minor x psittacina - Delightfully strange! Brownish-red green pitchers radiate at about a 45° angle to the soil. The pointed hoods are almost closed, leaving only a small entrance into the trap. Variably spotted and with red markings, the pitchers seldom exceed 4-5 inches tall. The odorless flowers come in shades of red to red-orange.
S. Red Sumatra - A dazzling, deep red selection of the naturally-occuring S.flava x leucophylla. The pitchers can reach almost two feet tall. Flowers are an orange with a red dusting of pigment on the petals. The pitcher lid is lightly ruffled with pink to almost white highlights. While the spring pitchers are gorgeous, please be aware that later in the year you may not see many pitchers until plants get older. Phyllodia (flat leaves) are typically produced from late summer onward. You can see an image on the home/index page of this web site.
S. 'White Sparkler' - A Botanique Exclusive! This beautiful hybrid produces white-topped leaves and deep burgundy flowers on tall stems above the foliage, (photo). Unlike the seasonal production of S. leucophylla, White Sparkler fires up good quantities of pitchers from spring until fall. Deep red veins crackle the upper leaf. Pitcher height is about 10-20 inches tall, being fairly resistant to wind and rain. We've been working on White Sparkler for over 18 years. This plant is a "sister" clone of the popular "Red Sparkler" that we first distributed in 1993. Selected from over 700 clones of S. (rubra var. jonesii X purpurea) X leucophylla, the Sparkler series have proven to be amongst the best garden hybrids available. Appearance,durability, lack of unpleasant flower odor, lush growth and long season are combined in this fine hybrid.
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