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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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)
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.
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.
Seed collection from unrepresented populations.
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