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Photos and text by Jonah Holland , PR and Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

White top pitcher plant Sarracenia leucophylla with red-green blooms.

White top pitcher plant Sarracenia leucophylla with red-green blooms.

 A cunning carnivore with an inescapable death trap silently waits for prey in some southeastern wetlands. Its exotic markings and distinctive beauty are enhanced by sugary secretions and sometimes enticing odors that lure unsuspecting victims to draw near. While exploring its sweet, slippery “mouth,” the inquisitive typically becomes captive, plummeting through a long, narrowing tube toward death. Downward-pointing hairs prevent escape and force the prey into a deep pit of fluid where it drowns.

Sounds supernatural doesn’t it? You may remember, this is what we wrote about our Sarracenia or pitcher plant collection last summer. Two years ago we restored the Martha and Reed West “Island Garden in an effort to adjust the water level in this garden and  restore the ecosystem for these amazing specimens. And this year, the pitcher plant collection is looking better than ever!

The  hardy native  orchid known as swamp pink, pale grasspink  (Calopogon pallidus) loves the changes that we made there too.  These beauties will be blooming for the next few weeks, and you can enjoy the Sarrencia all summer long, but if you can’t make it in person, please enjoy these photos. They were inspired by a Garden visitor who mentioned she’d really like to see the underside of the Sarracenia bloom up close. Happy to oblige!

Back of a pitcher plant bloom

Back of a pitcher plant bloom Sarracenia leucophylla.

Sarracenia flava bloom

Sarracenia flava bloom with spider web.

Wild color combo of red-green pitcher plants and Calopogon pallidus.

Wild color combo of red-green pitcher plants and Calopogon pallidus.

Look closely! Soon that insect may be dinner for this pitcher plant.

Look closely! Soon that insect may be dinner for this pitcher plant.

alien invasion

Does it look like an alien invasion?

Colopogon pallidus pale grass pink orchid

The beautiful hardy orchid known as swamp pink, pale grass pink or Calopogon pallidus.

pale grass pink

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