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Sweet Pitcherplant Sarracenia jonesii

Other plants called Sweet Pitcherplant:

Previously known as:

  • Sarracenia rubra subsp. jonesii
Phonetic Spelling
sair-ah-SEEN-ee-ah JONES-ee-eye
Description

Mountain Sweet Pitcherplant is a stemless herbaceous perennial and carnivorous plant in the pitcher plant family native to the seepage bogs of the Appalachian mountains of North and South Carolina. Typically, the plants can be found in waterlogged areas due to dense soils that lead to high acid in the soil and low nitrogen. The plant has tall, slender, tubular pitchers with a slight bulge on top and a horizontal lid that prevents too much rain water from entering the tube. They are bright green in color with maroon veins. The Mountain Sweet Pitcherplant looks to insects for nutrients. Pitcher plants attracts flies and other small insects to feed on, luring them with colorful leaves and sweet smells. The sides of the pitcher are waxy and slippery, which prevents insects from escaping once trapped. The nectar paralyzes the insects and digestive fluids in the tubular leaf decompose the insect which allows the plant to then absorb nutrients.

Some experts believe that Sarracenia jonesii should be included as part of Sarracenia rubra. However, S. jonesii differs from S. rubra in being slightly taller with a slightly larger mouth, a bulge in the upper 1/ 3 of the pitcher, and sweeter flower aroma.

It has been estimated that 97.5% of pitcher plant habitats have been destroyed in the southeastern United States. They have been threatened in the wild by ongoing development; however, cultivated varieties are available. The Mountain Sweet Pitcherplant is on the Federal endangered species list while other species are on the threatened list. These plants are threatened by habitat loss, development, and over-collection. Never harvest these plants from the wild. They are best purchased from a reputable carnivorous plant nursery. The genus's name, Sarracenia, honors Dr. Michael Sarrazan of Quebec. In the 1700s, he sent the first pitcher plant to Europe.

The Mountain Sweet Pitcherplant requires full sun during the growing season and moist to wet, acidic soils of sand and peat, but mostly sand. It is best grown in the consistently moist soils of an artificial bog garden or, if a bog garden is not available, containers are the next best option. Container soils can be 50% peat and 50% perlite/vermiculite. This plant does not like potting soils or fertilizers and is sensitive to dissolved salts in chlorinated water. Rainwater or distilled water may be used in place of tap water for container plants. The plants should not be manually fed or given food scraps. The plant cannot digest fats, and fertilizers can burn the plant. The plant goes dormant in the fall and dormancy continues until spring. The leaves will turn brown, but it is best to wait and remove the foliage in the spring just before the flowers emerge. Growing them outdoors can be difficult because moist conditions must be maintained at all times. Indoors they require sun for the growing season and then winter dormancy. Whether grown in a bog garden or in containers the plant requirements must be maintained to be successful. Most reproduction comes from continuous budding along the rhizome and propagation is easiest by rhizome division. Plants may be grown from seed with effort, but will not flower for the first 4-5 years.

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems:  

Mountain Sweet Pitcherplants will do poorly if specific growing conditions are not met. The biggest mistake is keeping the plant too wet. They must be protected from freezing winds. Monitor for aphids, scale, mealybugs, moth larvae, leaf spots, and root rot.

Regions: Mountains

Seasons of Interest:

     Bloom: Spring April-June

 VIDEO created by Andy Pulte for “Landscape Plant Identification, Taxonomy and Morphology” a plant identification course offered by the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee.

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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#perennials#specimen#carnivorous#colorful#pond margins#moist soil#endangered#NC native#herbaceous perennials#native garden#exotic looking#wet soils tolerant#container#full sun#boggy sites
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#perennials#specimen#carnivorous#colorful#pond margins#moist soil#endangered#NC native#herbaceous perennials#native garden#exotic looking#wet soils tolerant#container#full sun#boggy sites
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Sarracenia
    Species:
    jonesii
    Family:
    Sarraceniaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North and South Carolina
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 2 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Carnivorous
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Semi-evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Maintenance:
    High
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Frequent Standing Water
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    Seeds set in August.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Solitary
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Funnel
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Description:
    Single bright red-maroon flowers born on slightly erect leafless stalks with 5 petals appear in April and May. Globular and produce a sweet fragrance reminiscent of violets. Sometimes two flower stalks emerge from the same rhizome point. Flower stalks are crooked at the top.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Semi-evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Modified leaves form distinctive, upright, slender-fluted, heavily veined pitchers of variable height ranging from 12 to 18 inches tall.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Water Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Wet Soil