The red-pigmented white pitcher plant we purchased at the UC Davis Arboretum Plant Faire looks like a flamboyant coral reef. Like a hat askew, its ruffled “lid” hangs over the trumpet-shaped “pitcher.” The pitcher is actually a long, hollow tubular leaf.
But looks are deceiving.
Sarracenia leucophylla is a carnivorous plant. It draws insects and then devours them. In the few weeks we’ve had it, it’s gobbled blow flies, snagged tachinid (parasitic) flies, and horrors, it ate two of our beloved honey bees.
I do not think I like this plant.
Our bee friendly garden is no longer friendly. There’s war in our garden of peace. We have a weapon of mass destruction right in our own backyard. And you think Dracula is scary on Halloween!
Ernesto Sandoval, curator of the
“Ah, yes, the horrors of indiscriminate insectivity!” he says. “The Sarracenia, especially S. leucophylla are really good indicators of the relative abundance of insects and unfortunately, even honey bees are convinced to visit the flower-mimicking leaves.”
Sandoval says Sarracenia grow up and down the east coast of North America from
"The well-known Venus Fly Trap is native to
Meanwhile, I think I heard the plant burb.