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Plant Profile

Green Pitcherplant (Sarracenia oreophila)

This closeup shot shows the plant from above, featuring the hood of its flower. Photo Credit: Donald Schnell
  • Global Rank: G2 - Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Endangered
  • Family: Sarraceniaceae
  • State: AL, GA, NC, TN
  • Nature Serve ID: 141421
  • Lifeform: Forb/herb
  • Categories of Interest: Carnivorous Plants
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 02/10/1987

The majority of the remaining populations of Green Pitcher-plants can be found in the Coosa Valley and Plateau regions of the Cumberland Plateau in northeastern Alabama. The plants grow in acidic soils in moist upland areas and along boggy sandy streams. Following a spring flush of yellow flowers, the plants produce tall green pitchers. In late summer, when the soil dries, these pitchers will die back and be replaced by low, flat winter leaves. In order for the seeds of this species to germinate and become established they must fall on bare moist mineral soil. Though this condition is not rare in undisturbed bogs, fire suppression and habitat degradation have made such sites rare. For this reason, there is little seedling recruitment and most reproduction is asexual. At unmanaged sites, this set of conditions will result in inevitable population decline.

Where is Green Pitcherplant (Sarracenia oreophila) located in the wild?


Wet thickets, boggy banks, wet sands on river and stream banks and shores, rich woodlands (USFWS 1994).


Northeast Alabama, northwest Georgia, southwest North Carolina (USFWS 1994).

States & Provinces:

Green Pitcherplant can be found in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee

Which CPC Partners conserve Green Pitcherplant (Sarracenia oreophila)?

CPC's Plant Sponsorship Program provides long term stewardship of rare plants in our National Collection. We are so grateful for all our donors who have made the Plant Sponsorship Program so successful. We are in the process of acknowledging all our wonderful plant sponsorship donors on our website. This is a work in progress and will be updated regularly.

Conservation Actions

Tina Stanley
  • 04/16/2024
  • Living Collection

As of March 2024, Mt. Cuba Center holds Sarracenia oreophila in living collection.

Jason Ligon
  • 03/20/2023

1069 seeds of Sarracenia oreophila (green pitcher plant) from 7 individuals were collected on behalf of CPC’s Seed Longevity Study. A stratified sampling technique ensured that seed was collected from across the site and from individuals growing no closer than 1 meter from each other. These seeds correspond to North Carolina Botanical Garden’s original accession collected in 1987.

Center for Plant Conservation
  • 08/19/2021
  • Seed Collection

In 2021, CPC contracted Atlanta Botanical Garden to recollect seed from a population currently held in long term orthodox seed storage as part of an IMLS-funded seed longevity experiment. The National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation will evaluate how germination tested viability and RNA Integrity of seed lots decline over time in storage.

Caroline Iacuaniello
  • 04/12/2021
  • Living Collection

At the Atlanta Botanic Garden, visitors can experience a unique sight-a bog garden featuring rarely seen green pitcher plants (Sarracenia oreophila). These cool, carnivorous plants draw adults and children alike, gathering to learn about their unique adaptations. Read how conservationists are working to save the pitcher plant's habitat, and why this species is considered a conservation success here.

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

The species' current range is restricted to northeastern Alabama, north Georgia, and southwestern North Carolina. A historical record exists for Tennessee. There are about 36 occurrences known to be extant, nearly all of them in Alabama. Half of these have 50 or fewer clumps of plants; only five have over 500. Land use changes, especially development, have destroyed some populations and led to fire suppression in many areas, but annual burning programs have been established at some sites that support the plant.

  • 01/01/2010

Clearing and degrading habitat for residential, agricultural, silvicultural, and industrial purposes. Hydrological changes resulting from dam and impoundment construction. Trampling and soil disturbance by cattle. Collection by plant enthusiasts, b

  • 01/01/2010

There are 35 extant natural populations of Sarracenia oreophila, 32 in northeast Alabama, 2 in southwest North Carolina, and 1 in northwest Georgia. Most of these populations are small both in size and in number of individuals (USFWS 1994). It is extirpated in Tennessee.

  • 01/01/2010

Searches for additional populations (Troup and McDaniel 1980, Dennis 1980, Hillestad 1984, Govus 1987, Allison 1993b) are ongoing (as of 1994) though these have had limited success. Most of the populations located since 1980 were discovered though conversations with landowners. Associated species and baseline maps (McDaniel 1986, Benjamin and Sutter 1991, Allison 1993a) Flower/fruit predation (Folkerts 1992) Transplant experiments/reestablishment efforts (McDaniel 1990, 1992, Allison 1993a,Benjamin 1991, Moore 1991) As of 1994, reintroduction efforts in Alabama have not been successful (McDaniel 1990, 1992) Study of genetic structure through allozyme analysis (Godt and Hamrick 1993)

  • 01/01/2010

Protection for a number of populations has been achieved through acquisition by the Nature Conservancy, or voluntary conservation agreements between the Fish and Wildlife Service and private landowners. The Voluntary Conservation Agreements are not long term protection but do allow the FWS to manage the populations. Management to reduce competition and increase light levels is being carried out by tree removal through chemical treatments and burning. Restoration of natural hydrological regimes is a priority. Genetic stock is being preserved through seed storage and plant cultivation in Alabama and North Carolina.

  • 01/01/2010

The primary needs for the preservation of this species are to seek out unknown populations, secure long term protection for currently known populations, and to manage these populations to control competition and restore appropriate hydrological conditions. Further work is needed to develop site specific management plans, to track population trends and the response of the pitcher plants as well as associated flora and fauna to management, and to obtain or revise base maps and baseline data. Research on optimum fire frequency and burning season as well as pollination, germination requirements and seedling ecology would also assist in informing management decisions.

  • 01/01/2010

Seed collection from unrepresented populations.


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Taxon Sarracenia oreophila
Authority Wherry
Family Sarraceniaceae
CPC Number 3821
ITIS 22000
Duration Perennial
Common Names green pitcher plant | green pitcher-plant
Associated Scientific Names Sarracenia oreophila
Distribution Northeast Alabama, northwest Georgia, southwest North Carolina (USFWS 1994).
State Rank
State State Rank
Alabama S2
Georgia S1
North Carolina S1
Tennessee SX
Ecological Relationships

Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Bumble bees Bumble bees Confirmed Pollinator Link

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