DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sarracenia is a genus of carnivorous plants native to North America where it thrives best in moist, low-nutrient pine savannas along the Gulf coast. Sarracenia leucophylla, also known as the white pitcher plant, is one of the most beautiful and flamboyant species of all pitcher plants, its distinctive feature being the coloured top to the pitcher, which is often richly variegated with red or green veins, giving it an almost flower-like appearance. The species is very variable, both in colour and the size of the pitchers. Plants in some localities reach almost 100 cm in height, while in others plants can be tiny. The slender leaves of the pitchers can be considered as modified leaves. They form tall, curved funnels, which are held erect by a frilled lid that has prominent downward-pointing hairs on the underside. It serves as a trap for catching prey, most usually ants and other insects.
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