Pitcher Plants of the Pine Barrens

New Jersey’s pine barrens are home to several species of carnivorous plants, including the Pitcher-plant (Sarracenia purpurea).  The leaves of pitcher-plants are shaped like tubular pitchers capable of holding water.  The tip of each leaf is covered in downward pointing hairs.   Insects are attracted to the leaf’s color and scent, fall into the water inside, and are unable to fly or crawl out.  The plant draws nutrients from the decaying insects trapped by its leaves.

Pitcher-plants are common in bogs and swamps of the pine barrens, with clusters of leaves often jutting through mounds of sphagnum moss, as with this plant.

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