Sarracenia minor 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 minor spans from coastal plains of southeastern North Carolina south into the Florida Panhandle and the northern half of Florida. Populations can be found as far south as Okeechobee County, making it the most southern-growing Sarracenia. Why is this? It’s an successful predator, with more than one unique adaptation to effectively catch prey. Read below for the sinister details.
Unique biology of a Sarracenia minor
Other notable characteristics
Flowers are pastel yellow and, oddly enough, open alongside the first pitchers of the season. This is unique among Sarracenia. I guess a few pollinators ending up as collateral dinner isn’t such a bad thing.
Noteworthy history: in the 1870s, North Carolinian doctor Joseph Hinson Mellichamp experimented on Sarracenia minor in his kitchen. In doing so, he proved that the plants were, in fact, carnivorous. While John Ellis and G.T. Burnett mused in 1769 and 1829, respectively, that plants may be carnivorous, this was the very first demonstration of carnivory by any plant.