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Sarraceniaceae: Pitcher Plant Family Plant Identification Characteristics.

Plants of the Pitcher Plant Family

      Pitcher Plants have tubular, vase-like leaves that hold water to drown insects. Brilliant colors and nectar help to attract insects in some species. Bacterial action rots the insects - often giving the plants a putrid odor - and the plants absorb the nutrients.

      Botanically, there are 4 to 5 sepals and 5 petals (rarely 0), plus numerous stamens. The ovary is positioned superior and consists of 5 to 6 (rarely 3) united carpels (syncarpous) forming an equal number of chambers. It matures as a capsule.

      Worldwide, there are 3 genera and 17 species, found only in the New World. These plants are sometimes overcollected as novelties. To better conserve the plants, do not harvest them in the wild, and buy only those plants that have been propagated from cultivated stock.

Key Words: Plants with tubular leaves to trap insects.

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Darlington californica. California Pitcher Plant.

Darlington californica. California Pitcher Plant.

Foraging the Mountain West
Foraging the Mountain West

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Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
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Botany in a Day
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