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Sarracenia sledgei Macfarlane

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Sarracenia sledgei Macfarlane

Pale pitcherplant

by Edgar T. Wherry 

The ancestral home of pale pitcher plant was presumably in what is now the Cumberland Plateau of Tennessee, where one or two colonies are[Click the map for a larger view] reported to survive. It migrated down the Tennessee and the Mississippi River systems, after they developed. Becoming colonized on the Coastal Plain, it then spread eastward into Alabama, there approaching but apparently not intermingling with its easters relative, Sarracenia flava.

It also spread westward across Louisiana and is the only species know to have reached Texas. The westernmost station from which a specimen has been seen is near Athens, Henderson County, nearly at the 96 degree West longitudinal. There are credible records of this pitcher plant from a short distance father west, but growing as it does in acid swamps and springy meadows, it is unable to enter the more arid portions of Texas, and reports of its occurrence there have proved to be erroneous.

The map here reproduced shows the range of this plant as at present known [ca. 1935], although it probably grows farther north in the Mississippi Valley and has merely failed to be collected by the few botanists who have explored that region.

Click here for USDA's current information and distribution map of this species (Sarracenia alata

Click here for the watercolor by Mary Vaux Walcott.

Back to the Index of North American Pitcher Plants.