CPC Plant Profile: Mountain Sweet Pitcherplant
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Plant Profile

Mountain Sweet Pitcherplant (Sarracenia rubra ssp. jonesii)

Sarracenia rubra ssp. jonesii pitchers Photo Credit: Johnny Randall
  • Global Rank: N/A
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Sarraceniaceae
  • State: NC, SC
  • Nature Serve ID: 154007
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 04/04/1991

Of the 16 historical populations of Mountain Sweet Pitcher-plant, only 10 surviving today. This southern Appalachian endemic continues to face danger from development and the changes it brings to natural communities. Many of the vanished populations were lost as a result of the destruction of their bogs due to changes in hydrology. The channelization of streams, which often precedes development or the conversion of forested land to agriculture, caused the bogs that once supported pitcherplant populations to dry out. This species produces showy maroon flowers from April to June and exhibits green pitchers throughout the growing season. Reproduction occurs by seed and fragmentation of rhizomes (Massey et al. 1983; Wood 1960).

Participating Institutions
  • 09/27/2020
  • Seed Collection

In addition to on site management, seeds have been collected and given to NCBG with the expectation that at some point outplanting propagated specimens will occur into suitable habitat.

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Endemic to a few mountain bogs in southwest North Carolina and northwest South Carolina on both sides of the Blue Ridge. Drainage, impoundment, intensive grazing, and development have eliminated the species from 62% of the sites where it was known to occur. Surviving populations continue to be threatened by bog destruction. The species may be especially vulnerable to hydrological disruptions that dry out the soil or otherwise alter the natural hydrologic dynamics of the bogs. Other threats include fertilizer run-off from lawns and farms, which alters the nutrient cycling processes in the bogs and may hasten forest succession, and collection by amateur and professional botanists and horticulturists.

Johnny Randall
  • 01/01/2010

Of the 10 extant populations of Sarracenia jonesii, only two are on public land and of those only one is well protected. The remaining eight are on private land and are especially threatened by land use change and succession (USFWS 1990a). Hydrologi

Johnny Randall
  • 01/01/2010

There are 10 populations remaining, all within North and South Carolina. Four of these populations are in the river drainage of the French Broad River in Henderson County and Transylvania County, NC. Five are in the Saluda River drainage in Greenville County, SC. The last is in the Enoree River drainage, also in Greenville County, SC. (USFWS 1990a)

Johnny Randall
  • 01/01/2010

Benjamin and Sutter (1993) studied populations of Sarracenia jonesii and recommended management strategies. Their work includes population demographics, the effect of woody plant removal, and the comparison of water and nutrient levels within the bogs both among and apart from pitcher plant populations. They have observed increases in the pitcher and flower number following woody plant removal. Nutrient levels do not vary between bog sites with and without pitcher-plants, but water levels do.

Johnny Randall
  • 01/01/2010

Management of Sarracenia jonesii is ongoing at a mostly experimental level. This research (described above in the Current Research Summary) will inform management decisions. In addition to on site management, seeds have been collected and given to NCBG with the expectation that at some point outplanting propagated specimens will occur into suitable habitat. Additionally, plants have been rescued from a badly degraded site owned by a hostile landowner. These specimens were taken to the Atlanta Botanical Garden for propagation (Benjamin and Sutter 1993).

Johnny Randall
  • 01/01/2010

It is refreshing to see that management decisions will be based on sound research in the case of Sarracenia jonesii However, it will be important to work with private landowners to increase the security of the remaining sites and to insure that management activities can occur.

Johnny Randall
  • 01/01/2010

Needs are currently being met at the North Carolina Botanical Garden and the Atlanta Botanical Garden. However, it is worth noting that there is some concern that due to the small number of extant populations and small population sizes care be taken to preserve all of the genetic variation present (USFWS 1990a).


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Taxon Sarracenia rubra ssp. jonesii
Authority (Wherry) Wherry
Family Sarraceniaceae
CPC Number 3824
ITIS 195666
Common Names Mountain sweet pitcher-plant | sweet pitcherplant | Jones' pitcherplant | mountain sweet pitcherplant
Associated Scientific Names Sarracenia rubra ssp. jonesii | Sarracenia jonesii
Distribution The Blue Ridge Mountains of North and South Carolina (USFWS 1990a)
State Rank
State State Rank
North Carolina S1
South Carolina S1S2

Mountain bogs and streamsides (USFWS 1990a)

Ecological Relationships

Sarracenia jonesii feeds on and is fed upon by insects. Insects are lured by the sweet smelling nectar produced by the plants and enter the tubular pitchers. Once inside, they become trapped by downward pointing hairs. They fall into the liquid in the bottom of the pitcher where they decompose. It is thought that the minerals from the decomposed insects help to make up for the low nutrient levels of pitcher plant habitat. Turnabout is fair play and a number of moths eat the seeds, rhizomes, and leaves of the pitcher-plants (Wood 1960). Other insects make use of the pitchers as habitat and live inside (Wood 1960).

Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID

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