A deep, dark shade of purple, with venomous fangs, and a thirst for insects, Sarracenia ‘Black Widow’ is two of these three things. It is a very hearty hybrid pitcher plant, and I grow it outdoors in Southern California where it withstands (very rare) 115+ degree weather and little-to-no humidity. It produces a healthy bouquet of tall pitchers and quickly divides when established. In a greenhouse, this thing would be a monster!
The following description is a modified excerpt from Travis H. Wyman’s formal cultivar description of Sarracenia ‘Black Widow’ submitted to the International Carnivorous Plant Society for publication on December 2nd, 2008.
Sarracenia ‘Black Widow’ is a simple hybrid of a S. alata clone informally called “black”, with S. flava var. rubricorpora. It was produced by Phil Faulisi in May of 2000 and the subsequent seed was sown January 2001. The selected plant was chosen and named in May 2004. The clone of S. flava var. rubricorpora used as a pollen donor in this cross (and seed parent in the following cross) was the product of line breeding done by Phil with the intention of producing an extremely dark, all red clone of S. flava var. rubricorpora.
Sample of N.A. Pitcher Plants For Sale in the Marketplace
Pitchers of Sarracenia Black Widow average 76-86 cm (30-34 inches) in height. Developing pitchers start out with a base colour of green with very heavy reddish-black veining.
Eventually the red-black colour fills in, turning nearly the entire pitcher a deep, shimmering, maroon. As the season progresses, the pitcher colors continue to deepen, becoming a deep lustrous purple-black especially around the throat and inner hood, an influence from the S. alata parent. The flowers of this plant are a very pale white-cream. This plant should only be reproduced through vegetative means.
Other notable characteristics
The name for this plant was chosen because of a fortuitous encounter with a large black widow spider that was found living amongst the pitchers, the colour of the spider’s body was similar to the deep glossy black-purple colour displayed by the fall pitchers.
David, the manager of Carnivorous Plant Resource, grows this beautiful cultivar, and occasionally has a few to spare listed in the marketplace, here. In fact, all photos on this page are from his private collection.
Other North American Pitcher Plant Species & Hybrids
The grex that wrecks the rest, Sarracenia moorei has little competition in the "humungous, gorgeous, and fast-growing" categories. It's a common-name grex that includes some of the most famous pitcher plants to date.
Sarracenia 'Leah Wilkerson' has the go-go-gadget pitchers of the naturally occurring Sarracenia hybrids. The plant's largest recorded pitchers are more easily measured in units of Godzilla than inches, coming in at 50 inches (130cm) tall.
Sarracenia ‘Saurus’ is the mythical monster moorei hybrid (S. leucophylla × flava var. ornata) that Phil Faulisi concocted in the spring of 2005. Everything is bigger on this pitcher plant - the height, the heft, the color, and the price tag!
The North American pitcher plant is a master of deception. Beautiful pitcher-shaped traps are actually intricate natural adaptations to capture and digest insects in order to uptake minerals otherwise lacking in soil.
is known as the hooded pitcher plant. To the human eye, it looks like a fairly typical North American pitcher plant, but with a lid that folds over the mouth. To the insect eye, it probably looks like the grim reaper in cloak.
Sarracenia leucophylla var. alba 'Hurricane Creek White' Sarracenia leucophylla var. alba is a gorgeous variety of leucophylla and 'Hurricane Creek White' is a large, robust cultivar. Unfortunately, the name 'Hurricane Creek White' is meant [...]
Known as the cutthroat pitcher plant due to the distinct blood red throat blotch. The coloration and high density of nectar glands at this location on the pitcher act as a lure for hungry insects. It's no coincidence that the blotch is located right above the plant's mouth.
Sarracenia flava (bronze x coppertop) As the name would suggest, Sarracenia flava (bronze x coppertop) is a hybrid pitcher plant. It takes two spectacular parents, S. flava bronze and S. flava coppertop, crosses them, [...]
Sarracenia flava var. flava Sarracenia flava is commonly referred to as the Yellow Trumpet plant. This common name captures the essence of tall flowering stalks (visibly similar to the "tuning slide" of a trumpet) [...]
Sarracenia 'Judith Hindle' This gorgeous cultivar was bred by Alan Hindle in England and named after his wife by Peter D'Amato of California Carnivores. Parents of S. 'Judith Hindle' are from two separate clones [...]