Sarracenia purpurea L.

Locations ofSarracenia purpurea L. in Virginia

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Detail

Family
Sarraceniaceae
Botanical Name
Sarracenia purpurea L.
Common Name
Purple Pitcher Plant
Synonym(s)
Sarracenia purpurea L. var. venosa (Raf.) Fernald
Flora of Virginia Name/Status
Sarracenia purpurea L.
Comments
The recognition of infraspecific taxa, as well as their reported geographic ranges, has been a subject of disagreement among taxonomists. Weakley (2012 Draft Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States) reports two vars. in our area: the northern var. purpurea, extending s. to ne. Virginia, and var. venosa (Raf.) Fern., extending n. to se. Virginia. Assignment of Virginia material to these entities has been problematic, and confounded by the possible introduction at some sites of plants collected elsewhere. Most, if not all of our plants appear to be var. venosa, but more study is needed to determine if var. purpurea occurs in Caroline and Essex counties. However, until greater clarity is achieved, we have chosen not to recognize these taxa formally.
Habitat
Thinly canopied acidic seepage swamps, streamhead pocosins, boggy depressions in pine flatwoods, sphagnous power-line seeps and other boggy clearings; also persisting vegetatively in forested seeps that were once more open. Rare in the Coastal Plain. Introduced at some sites within the natural range, as well as a few sites outside it, e.g., at Spring Pond in Augusta County.
Native Status
Native

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