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Sarracenia drummondii Croom

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Sarracenia drummondii Croom

Whitetop pitcherplant

by Edgar T. Wherry

The evolutionary changes which resulted in the development of the showy red flowered Sarracenia jonesii from a rather inconspicuous green-[Click the map for a larger view]flowered ancestor did not come to and end with that species, but continued along several lines. The tendency toward increased size and coloration reached a culmination in whitetop pitcher plant, the showiest of our species. The common name selected for it refers to the predominance of white in the hood.

Development of this pitcher plant evidently took place somewhere in the headwaters of the Alabama River System. The Tertiary mountain making exterminated it from its ancestral home, but seeds traveled downstream and soon colonized the Coastal Plain. Spreading laterally from this river valley, it migrated a short distance westward into Mississippi and somewhat farther toward the east, into the western extension of Florida. It also formed two isolated colonies, one in Madison County, Florida, the other in Sumter County, Georgia. Reports of its occurrence farther northeast seem to be based on misidentification of other species.

Click here for the watercolor by Mary Vaux Walcott.

Click here for USDA's current information and distribution map of this species.

Back to the Index of North American Pitcher Plants.