CPC Plant Profile: Purple Pitcherplant
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Plant Profile

Purple Pitcherplant (Sarracenia purpurea var. montana)

Photo Credit: Michael Kunz, NCBG
Description
  • Global Rank: T1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Sarraceniaceae
  • State: NC, SC, GA
  • Nature Serve ID: 132767
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 10/22/2021

Carnivorous plant with short broad open pitchers.  The pitcher lobes are strongly recurved and almost touching.  Hairs lining the tubes are short.  Morphological and genetic differences support the taxonomy of this variety of purple pitcher plant.

Participating Institutions
Updates
Carrie Radcliffe
  • 05/07/2021

The culprit of lethal disturbance to bogs containing Sarracenia purpurea var. montana in North Georgia - captured via camera installed to monitor site remotely and inform active management needs:

  • 10/15/2020
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

Approximately 1350 seeds from 20 maternal lines are split between the NCBG seed bank and NLGRP.

  • 10/15/2020
  • Propagation Research

We successfully collected ~15,000 (50 maternal lines) seeds from the right of way and 1,356 seeds (12 maternal lines) from the swamp forest. Past work with this species has given us a good germination protocol, and seeds from both of these sites will be tested for viability. The collections are split between NCBG and NLGRP.

  • 10/15/2020
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

We successfully collected ~15,000 (50 maternal lines) seeds from the right of way and 1,356 seeds (12 maternal lines) from the swamp forest. Past work with this species has given us a good germination protocol, and seeds from both of these sites will be tested for viability. The collections are split between NCBG and NLGRP.

  • 10/15/2020
  • Seed Collection

In 2018 NCBG collected seed from one site in NC. Approximately 1350 seeds from 20 maternal lines are split between the NCBG seed bank and NLGRP.

  • 10/15/2020
  • Seed Collection

In 2019 NCBG collected seeds of Sarracenia purpurea var. montana from two sites not represented in a seed bank. Working with state agencies, we targeted sites that are within a restricted access area around a defunct industrial plant. The first and largest site exists in a utility right of way that was abandoned when the plant was closed. While much of the corridor is becoming overgrown with woody shrubs, a portion remains open and supports a healthy population of S. purpurea var. montana. The second site persists in a swamp forest/bog complex. Deer herbivory of seed capsules was a problem with past attempts to collect seed of this species. To prevent loss to herbivory, we bagged the developing infructescences after flowering. The right of way site produced many flowers per clump of individuals and almost all appeared to produce seeds. The site in the swamp forest however is much more shady and overgrown. This site had lower flowering rates and appears to have had less successful pollination as a portion of the plants that flowered produced small or mal-formed capsules with no seeds. We successfully collected ~15,000 (50 maternal lines) seeds from the right of way and 1,356 seeds (12 maternal lines) from the swamp forest. Past work with this species has given us a good germination protocol, and seeds from both of these sites will be tested for viability. The collections are split between NCBG and NLGRP.

Michael Kunz
  • 10/30/2019

In 2019 NCBG collected seeds of Sarracenia purpurea var. montana from two sites not represented in a seed bank.  Working with state agencies, we targeted sites that are within a restricted access area around a defunct industrial plant.  The first and largest site exists in a utility right of way that was abandoned when the plant was closed.  While much of the corridor is becoming overgrown with woody shrubs, a portion remains open and supports a healthy population of S. purpurea var. montana.  The second site persists in a swamp forest/bog complex.
Deer herbivory of seed capsules was a problem with past attempts to collect seed of this species.  To prevent loss to herbivory, we bagged the developing infructescences after flowering.  The right of way site produced many flowers per clump of individuals and almost all appeared to produce seeds.  The site in the swamp forest however is much more shady and overgrown.  This site had lower flowering rates and appears to have had less successful pollination as a portion of the plants that flowered produced small or mal-formed capsules with no seeds. 
We successfully collected ~15,000 (50 maternal lines) seeds from the right of way and 1,356 seeds (12 maternal lines) from the swamp forest.  Past work with this species has given us a good germination protocol, and seeds from both of these sites will be tested for viability.  The collections are split between NCBG and NLGRP.
 

Michael Kunz
  • 10/30/2019

In 2018 NCBG collected seed from one site in NC.  Approximately 1350 seeds from 20 maternal lines are split between the NCBG seed bank and NLGRP.

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Nomenclature
Taxon Sarracenia purpurea var. montana
Authority D.E. Schnell & Determann
Family Sarraceniaceae
CPC Number 46249
ITIS 566782
USDA
Common Names Purple pitcherplant
Associated Scientific Names Sarracenia purpurea var. montana
Distribution Restricted to the southern Blue Ridge Mountains of NC, SC and GA.  The species is known from about 12 populations and is threatened by fire suppression, development and agriculture. 
State Rank
State State Rank
North Carolina S2?
South Carolina SNR
Georgia S1
Habitat

Mountain bogs, seepage bogs and cataract bogs in the southern Blue Ridge Mountains.  Soils are moist to saturated and often associated with sphagnum. 

Ecological Relationships

Pollinators
Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID

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