Yellow Pitcher Plant
Sarracenia alata Wood
Sarraceniaceae (Pitcher Plant) Family

The Yellow Pitcher Plant stem is modified into an underground rhizome, thus no aboveground stem. Its preferred habitat is savannas and moist pinelands. Distribution is coastal in the Escambia region.

The leaves are hollow, hooded. Along the seem of the large leaf is a wing-like flange, thus the Latin species name, alata, meaning "winged."

Flowers are solitary on the stem, bisexual in nature and symmetrical in form. Each flower is nodding. Its makeup is 5 yellowish-green petals and 5 sepals; numerous stamens. Flowering usually occurs in the spring before the leaves emerge. The flowers are radially symmetrical. All parts of the flower are attached at the base of the ovary, topped by an umbrella-like style.

Fruit is a reddish-brown capsule; seen at the point of joining stem and sepals.

Pitcher plants are carnivorous herbs with tubular leaves and large, nodding flowers borne singly or in racemes at the end of a long stalk.

There are three genera and 17 species in North American and northern South America. In the United States all but one are in the East. A few species are grown as curiosities, and collecting for this purpose threatens the rarest. Several species are classified as endangered or threatened in many states. The Yellow Pitcher Plant is on the list of threatened species.

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