Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Photo of the Day #15: Pale Pitcher Plant

Pale Pitcher Plant
Sarracenia alata Alph.Wood
Sarraceniaceae; Ericales; Magnoliopsida; Magnoliophyta
Oxford Botanic Gardens
July 2008

The pitcher plants belong to two unrelated families: the Sarraceniaceae of North America, and the Nepenthaceae of the Old World. The flowers of the North American pitchers, as pictured above, are large and showy, yet dull in colour. But of course the most interesting thing about pitcher plants is, like sundews and Venus fly-traps, they are carnivorous, catching insects in their specially modified leaves shaped like pitchers, even coming with a lid to keep rainwater out! I tried keeping a pitcher plant. It died. 

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