The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Those beautiful pitcher plants

If you grow up in Florida, you see pitcher plants.  They’re colorful and they’re carnivorous. You can observe them safely, but bugs cannot. They’re over a hundred species of them, so if you’re looking for them, it will take you a while to find them all.

I use them in my books because they seem to shout FLORIDA.  They love wetlands! And when they bloom, an entire prairie of them is very spectacular. Grab you’re camera.

According to the University of Florida’s IFAS extension, “Pitcherplants have tubular leaves with lids or hoods at the top that secrete nectar to attract prey. Once insects are on the lip of the pitcher, they can slip on the waxy opening and fall into the plant. Hairs on the inside of the trap point downward, preventing insects from crawling back up. Plants also secrete digestive enzymes and fluids in the pitcher so that insects are digested and absorbed after they drown or die of exhaustion. Digested insects provide pitcherplants with nitrogen, which is usually limited in the acidic conditions where the plants grow. Most often, ants, flies, wasps, and bees are caught in pitcher traps.”

Since my Florida novels are set in Liberty County in the panhandle, I’m most aware of the pitcher plants north of Sumatra on highway 65. You’ll find more colors than you can count.

As a writer, I always look for unique plants, animals, and land forms to mention in novels and short stories about an area because they are part of the uniqueness of the place where the story is set. These are one of my favorites because they are showy and very obvious to people driving down the highway.

As a threatened species, you cannot pick them and transfer them into your gardens. Enjoy them where they are. The family classification is Sarraceniaceae. You can find them in Liberty County, Florida and west toward Pensacola.

Malcolm

 

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