Thursday, June 6, 2013

Mystery Plant

This was photographed yesterday in a bog habitat in Bolton, MA. Anyone
want to take a stab at it?


  1. I agree, looks like Purple Pitcherplant (Sarracenia purpurea) on the verge of blooming.

  2. Yes, yes it is the flower of a pitcher plant, Sarracenia purpurea! Regarding someone's comment off blog that it appeared to be on the verge of blooming, I believe the flower is already fully open. That big round greenish unbrella-like doo-dad in the center is actually the stigma, part of the female reproductive organ. The petals are the floppy reddish things, and behind them, not visible in the photo, are reddish sepals.

    Here is a diagram with everything labeled:

    Here are some nice photos and discussion of the anatomy:

    And here is a video of a bumblebee pollinating it, with some canine entertainment in the background:

    More on my visit to the bog to follow, when I have some time.

  3. Oh, sorry Josh, you were on blog. I guess I had this page open for awhile, and did not refresh it before posting my response.

  4. Janet: Interesting, were the petals a darker color on the undersides?

  5. Yes, I believe the petals were more uniformly red on the undersides (and since the flowers nod, the undersides are what you see of the petal when you look down at the flower). Also, the sepals tend to be a darker red, and you see more of the sepals than the petals when you look down at the flower.

    However, the amount of red and green in sepals, petals, and stigma varies from flower to flower; you will see this if you google images of pitcher plant flower. I'll try to post more on pitcher plants later today when I am at my other computer that has my photos...

    1. Neat. When the rain here breaks, I just may head over to the nearest bog to see them first-hand.

    2. Yes, go asap, while they are in full bloom. This was a first for me, seeing them at peak flowering. I had seen them later in the season, way past peak, but this year I was determined to get out there earlier. Truly spectacular.

  6. Janet: I decided to go out in the rain and I wasn't disappointed. I found several plants flowering. Here's an image of one: