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Pitcher Plants Flowering

6-5-15  pitcher plant 007The flowers of Pitcher Plants are just as unusual and fascinating as their insect-luring leaves. These plants can be found blossoming during a two to three week period in the spring (late May-June). Although the maroon petals hanging down typically prevent you from seeing the structure of the flower, it more or less resembles an upside-down umbrella. Within one to two days of the flower opening, the stigmas become receptive and the anthers shed their pollen, which falls into the umbrella-like tray where insects travel on their way to the stigmas. Ants are almost invariably present in the flowers, attracted by the abundant nectar, but they are probably of little importance as pollinators. Bees and flies appear to be the primary pollinators of Pitcher Plants.

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7 responses

  1. Marilyn

    I haven’t seen a pitcher plant in years! Nor have I visited a bog – hmm. Inspiration for an excursion.

    June 5, 2015 at 8:11 am

  2. Natasha Atkins

    Thanks for this! We recently went on a canoe trip into Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia and there were several species of pitcher plants in bloom throughout the swamp, different species in different water depths. The Parrot Pitcher Plant had beautiful red flowers like this one–I’m curious which species is in this picture.

    June 5, 2015 at 11:20 am

    • Sarracenia purpurea, Natasha. (If you scroll down below the blog post, I usually put the genus and species under “tags.”)

      June 5, 2015 at 12:46 pm

  3. Udo K Rauter

    Hi. I wondered if you could share a regular address so that I can send a small donation? Also, wonder if you have heard of black squirrels? We had one playing with a grey squirrel in our yard in Chichester recently. Thanks a bunch for all you do.

    June 5, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    • Hi Udo,
      My mailing address is 134 Densmore Hill Road, Windsor, VT 05089. Thank you very much! My understanding is that black squirrels are a melanistic version of an eastern gray squirrel…but I am not an expert on this by any means.

      June 5, 2015 at 5:13 pm

  4. What a beautiful flower! What a delight it would be to come upon one of these in the wild.

    June 5, 2015 at 8:24 pm

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