Saturday, February 26, 2011

Trail Tales (or Stuff I've Seen While Hunting For Orchids), Part 5

While out photographing orchids in the Florida panhandle, we found this lovely specimen growing in a roadside bog. This is the white-topped pitcher plant (Sarracenia leucophylla).



Pitcher plants are a type of carnivorous plant, trapping insects in a pool of liquid inside the hollowed-out leaves. The inside of the pitcher is waxy and covered with downward-pointing hairs that make it easy for an insect to fall in but difficult to get out. The pool of liquid contains digestive fluids that break down the insects into basic nutrients that the plants can absorb...nutrients that are generally lacking in the highly acidic bog soil where these plants grow.
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