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Sarracenia oreophila (Kearney) Wherry

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Sarracenia oreophila (Kearney) Wherry

Green pitcherplant

by Edgar T. Wherry

Green pitcher plant, the most primitive of the eastern species, was apparently first collected along the inner margin of the coastal plain in[Click the map for a larger view] Taylor county, Georgia, but it later proved to occur chiefly in the Appalachian Mountains region of northeastern Alabama. It has been found thus far in a number of stream valleys in Cherokee, De Kalb, Jackson, and Marshall Counties, and may be considerably more widespread.* Unlike most species, it grows in alluvial sands and gravels on stream banks, rather than in bogs or swamps. The soil reaction, however is rather intensely acid.

In Alabama, the Cretaceous peneplain was not uplifted high enough above sea level for the climate to become very much cooler, so that little increase in hardiness was necessary to enable plants to survive there. The ancestral home of this pitcher plant may accordingly be inferred to have been essentially where it now occurs. Of all the species, it has been the least successful in colonizing the Coastal Plain, its seeds having apparently reached that province only after it had become too conservative to spread there.

*After the 1930s map [right] was engraved, an additional station for it was discovered in Elmore County, in central Alabama.

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.