Mature “Gulf” Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia Rubra Gulfensis)

Mature “Gulf” Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia Rubra Gulfensis)


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If you like giant forms of Sarracenia, this is a must have! An unusually gigantic form of rubra, which in the past has produced 2′ tall pitchers even when crammed in very overly crowded trays! In the wild, these grow on the side of streams and attain enormously gigantic traps! The best show has yet to come: all season long, these plants have been storing up nutrients and growing strong roots so that they can produce their most impressive traps in the fall. Plants offered are fully established, very healthy divisions, last picture shows what you can expect.

Sarracenia Rubra Gulfensis is a perennial, carnivorous plant with a horizontal, underground stem producing an aboveground rosette of leaves modified into erect, elongated, tubular pitchers. Pitchers usually less than 18 inches (45 cm) tall, slightly hairy on the outer surface, red with a network of maroon veins or green with a network of red veins; the pitcher tapers upward from base to opening, with a slight bulge in the upper part; a narrow wing runs the length of the pitcher, and a red, pointed hood is held over the pitcher opening, which is 1 – 1.4 inch (2.4 – 3.5 cm) wide. The flower stalk is 10 – 30 inches (26 – 75 cm) tall, topped with a nodding, very fragrant maroon flower. The flower is about 2 – 2.5 inches (5 – 6.3 cm) across, and consists of:  5 maroon sepals; a large, green style disk shaped like an upside-down umbrella; five dark red, fiddle-shaped petals that droop over the edges of the style disk; a warty ovary; and many stamens hidden beneath the style disk. The petals drop quickly but the sepals, style disk, and ovary (as fruit) persist for months after flowering. The fruit is a 5-segmented, warty capsule with numerous seeds.

Similar Species

There are 7 species of pitcherplant in Georgia, three of which have recognized subspecies or varieties. All of these are easily recognized at the species level, and all are rare (see below).

With its erect, tubular, reddish pitchers that are partially closed at the top by a hood, both subspecies of Sarracenia rubra may resemble Hooded Pitcherplant (Sarracenia minor var. minor). However, the Hooded Pitcherplant has yellow flowers and translucent or white patches near the top of its greenish-red pitcher. (For comparison with the S. rubra ssp. gulfensis plants that occur in Florida, see ‘Range’ below.)



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