Posted by: DarkEyedJunc0 | April 24, 2013

The amazing Pitcher Plant

Aside from the birds, BIRDING can bring you to amazing places with amazing people! People with a vast knowledge of many topics. April 14, 2013 was no exception…. in search of the somewhat secretive Bachman’s Sparrow, we wound up at The Nature Conservancy’s Splinter Hill Bog Preserve in the Baldwin County, Alabama.

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Aside from lifing Bachman’s Sparrow, I fell in love with a plant I heard so much about as a child in science class – the carnivorous Pitcher Plant!

The preserve is comprised of 627 acres of longleaf pine and bog habitat.

The preserve is comprised of 627 acres of longleaf pine and bog habitat and is home to 5 different types of Pitcher Plants (a subset of the 12 total carnivorous plants that reside here.)

 

At the time we visited, the White-topped pitcher plant (Sarracenia leucophylla) was beginning to sprout.

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Pitcher plants are carnivorous with nectar glands at the top of the “pitcher” which lure insects in.

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The inside of the “pitcher” is slippery. Insects slip to the bottom of the “pitcher” where digestive enzymes consume the insect.

 

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Pitcher-plant flowers develop March – April on long, leafless stalks. (Pictured is the crimson flower of the White-topped Pitcher Plant.)

To witness this natural wonder firsthand really makes one stop and wonder – how did this plant evolve with such genius?

You should go see for yourself!

To visit the preserve:

From I-65, take exit 45 (Perdido/Rabun). Take Baldwin County Road 47 West approximately 1.3 miles to the parking lot on the right or travel 0.1 miles to Splinter Hill Road. Turn right on Splinter Hill Road and travel approximately 0.4 miles to the parking lot on the left across from Turberville Lane.

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