So what is a Sarracenia? It is a plant that is commonly known as trumpet pitchers. We saw these at the Overland Park Farmers’ Market. We were very impressed with the market – there were over 70 stands with all kinds of vendors. There were booths with beverages, lotions, herbs, eggs, fruits, plants, oils, honey, pasta, meats and prepared foods.
One of the vendors had several trumpet pitchers, which caught our interest immediately. Sarracenia is a class of carnivorous plants. The top part of the pitchers has a nectar-like secretion and a combination of color and scent which attracts insects . Once the insect starts eating the nectar, which has the effect of a narcotic drug, it causes the insects to lose it footing and to fall inside. Once inside they die and are digested by the plant.
Pitcher production begins at the end of the flowering period in spring, and lasts until late autumn. At the end of autumn, the pitchers begin to wither and the plants produce non-carnivorous leaves. Since the supply of insects during winter is low, and the cold weather slows plant metabolism and other processes, putting energy into producing the pitchers. We were very interested in the process and wondered if it would take care of our flies and wasp at the pool. The large plant was $49 and the smaller was $25 and we weren’t sure if we wanted to spend that much for something that might not work. And on the other side, could we keep the plant alive?