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Carnivorous Plants - Sarracenia rubra ssp. wherryi, May 5, 2009
by Makoto Honda
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2009-June-07

Photo: Sarracenia rubra ssp. wherryi

This is the very first time I was able to observe Sarracenia rubra subspecies wherryi in the wild... Actually, this is the first time I saw a real plant of S. rubra ssp. wherryi, period. Increasingly being threatened, the natural distribution of Sarracenia rubra ssp. wherryi is limited to a relatively small region of the southwestern part of Alabama.  The plants photographed here were growing in a longleaf pine savanna, sometimes growing among scattered S. leucophylla populations but often preferring a wetter habitat than S. leucophylla. For my photographic journey, once again, I obtained generous help from Keith Tassin of The Nature Conservancy in locating the plants in one of their Nature Preserves in southern Alabama. 

Carnivorous Plants in the Wilderness: Sarracenia rubra subspecies wherryi

I had a bad luck with Sarracenia rubra species in general in the past. This may not have been just a coincidence. The rubra plants are indeed slightly different from other Sarracenia species in terms of their habitat preference. On the Gulf Coast, I do not remember seeing S. rubra growing in coastal savannas along with other pitcher plant species.

Carnivorous Plants in the Wilderness: Sarracenia rubra subspecies wherryi

Prominent venation on the upper part of the pitcher extends all the way to the lid.

Carnivorous Plants in the Wilderness: Sarracenia rubra subspecies wherryi



Carnivorous Plants in the Wilderness: Sarracenia rubra subspecies wherryi

Carnivorous Plants in the Wilderness: Sarracenia rubra subspecies wherryi

This clump was exhibiting a slender tube character almost matching the general description of subspecies rubra. But then, I am no expert on Sarracenia rubra "complex". In fact, I will have great difficulty distinguishing S. rubra from S. alata, both of which are considered very similar in their pitcher morphology.

Carnivorous Plants in the Wilderness: Sarracenia rubra subspecies wherryi

This is the only flower (with petals) I was able to find at the beginning of May.
The flowers of S. rubra ssp. wherryi start blooming at the end of March, with peak flowering around mid-April. This is a very precious piece of information for me if I am to visit their habitat ever again in the future!

Carnivorous Plants in the Wilderness: Sarracenia rubra subspecies wherryi

I found a wasp licking nectar on the peristome of a wherryi pitcher. This guy got a free lunch - this time.

Carnivorous Plants in the Wilderness: Sarracenia rubra subspecies wherryi

Fine pubescence seen on the outer surfaces of the pitchers of Sarracenia rubra ssp. wherryi. This is a character common on all five subspecies of S. rubra complex.

Carnivorous Plants in the Wilderness: Sarracenia rubra subspecies wherryi

The pitcher lid assumes a fairly deep cupper color.

Carnivorous Plants in the Wilderness: Sarracenia rubra subspecies wherryi

Carnivorous Plants in the Wilderness: Sarracenia rubra subspecies wherryi

PHOTO GEARS: Nikon D300. Lenses used: Ai Nikkor 16mm F3.5, Ai Nikkor 20mm F3.5, AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm F2.8.  ISO200, RAW, processed by Capture NX by Nikon.

Carnivorous Plants Photography Web Site:  Copyright 2001-2017 Makoto Honda. All Rights Reserved.  
   

Copyright 2001-2017 Makoto Honda. All Rights Reserved.                                       www.iCarnivorousPlants.com                                       since June 2001