Taking a good revenge on the carnivorous world, a few groups of plants decided to adapt to eating ‘meat’. At Singing Sands in Bruce Peninsula National Park you can easily spot a few of them: Sarracenia purpurea ssp. purpurea – Pitcher plant, Drosera linearis and Utricularia cornuta.
Sarracenia purpurea – Purple pitcher plant, grows in specific wetlands habitats of North America and employs the strategy of ‘pitfall trap’ for catching insects, beetles, slugs and even frogs in its pitchers, where they are then digested by plant enzymes. Both the pitchers-like leaves and the flowers are highly ornamental and the Sarracenias (various species and hybrids) are widely used in bog and damp woodland gardens and conservatories.
The best time to see it in flower is end of June- beginning of July when the whole area around the fen boardwalk at Singing Sands is covered by Sarracenia and Rose pogonia – Pogonia ophioglossoides.
The genus name commemorates Michel Sarrazin (1659-1735), French naturalist and surgeon who made the first collection of Sarracenia purpurea from Quebec.
Sarracenia purpurea is a highly variable species and generally two subspecies are recognized: subsp. purpurea – grows in formerly glaciated areas of North America and subsp. venosa, which grows only in unglaciated areas.
Wild populations of Sarracenia purpurea are threaten by the decline of wetland habitats, and also by horticultural poaching, reasons why Sarracenia purpurea subsp. purpurea is listed now on Appendix II of CITES.
Sarracenia purpurea is the provincial flower emblem of Newfoundland and Labrador, where it grows widely in bogs and barrens.