Sarracenia leucophylla

Sarracenia leucophylla – The name of the species refers to the white spots (leukos = white, phyllon = leaf in Greek). There are many varieties of this species but the pictures show the typical form. Its main distribution is swamps with low pH in the southern Alabama and northern Florida (‘the panhandle’). In the largest variety, the pitchers can reach a height of one meter. Another variety has yellow flowers while the main colour is red. In the beginning of the growing season relatively small pitchers are produced, followed by ‘flat’ (ensiform) leaves where the flat part responds to the wing of the pitchers. These leaves are used solely for photosynthesis. The large pitchers develop in late summer. The pitchers are distingtly funnel-shaped. The wing is 2-4 mm and broadest towards the base. The chlorophyll-free dots (fenestrations) and the red veins on the lid and pitcher edge are, together with scent producing nectaries, effective alluring devices and the pitchers are often filled to the brim with prey late in the growing season. Plants grown outdoors in pots in Denmark usually catch plenty of syrphus flies (Syrphidae), other flies, and wasps. As mentioned on the Sarracenia main page, in the homeland the pitcher is used as housing for larvae for certain moths and wasps.

The photos are taken in mid-September of plants grown in pots. The pitcher on the left photo is gnawed through by snails, probably Portuguese slug (Arion lusitanicus).


H. S. Heide-Jørgensen, February 2021.