Pitcher Watch 2015! Which Sarracenia pitcher plant opened first?

Along with all the flower buds popping everywhere on the verge of blooming, Sarracenia pitchers are growing, inflating, and (since they can’t fill up with bugs yet) filling me with anticipation!

Sarracenia oreophila x purpurea growing two new pitchers.
Sarracenia oreophila x purpurea growing two new pitchers.
Sarracenia purpurea new pitcher forming
Sarracenia purpurea seedling
New Sarracenia, carnivorous pitcher plant, leaves growing.
Handsome red pitchers growing on unknown seedling.

While repotting my Sarracenia in December, I didn’t label all of the divisions I made (I was SO exhausted and ready to be done!). Originally I kept the small divisions next to the parent plant and figured that would be enough. Well I saw mealybugs on some plants so I had quarantine those, then I got more plants and had to utilize my space more efficiently, aaaaand you get the idea. Now I have some divisions that I have no idea if they’re flava var. cuprea or Judith Hindle x flava var. atropurpurea! I will know when the pitchers open and they form their distinct colors and markings.

Take this as a lesson, kids! Always label your plants!

New pitcher growing from Sarracenia, the carnivorous North American pitcher plant.
Unknown (for now!) division
Sarracenia, North American pitcher plant, growing a new pitcher
Unknown (for now!) division

So which was the pitcher to open first? The answer surprised me!

It was none other than the Sarracenia purpurea seedling!

Newly grown pitcher on Sarracenia purpurea


Closely followed by my parent Sarracenia oreophila x purpurea plant! Interesting to me how green these pitchers are now. They were a much darker red in the first picture before they opened.

Sarracenia oreophila x pupurea pitcher opening


The purpurea opening first surprised me because my flavas were the first to start growing and developing. Purpureas are known for being slower growers. However, they definitely don’t become as tall, so it may be due to shorter pitcher growth over all.

And finally, just a quick update on my flowering flava! Neither the flower nor the pitcher are open yet, but they’re both oh-so-close! The pitcher is now officially taller than the flower. The flower petals (and various flower parts I’m not well-versed in yet) are slowly opening and separating! Ah, soon, soon soon!



I love spring. đŸ™‚ Fellow Sarracenia lovers, which one of your plants had an open pitcher first? Let me know in a comment!


  1. Devon says:

    For me it was pretty much a tie between S. oreophila and S. flava. The S. flava definitely won the flowering race though.

  2. katyadog1 says:

    For me, my Mitchelliana wins the flower race with a 4 inch flower stalk and fully opened flower! It’s a race between the flavas and the alata (I think) for first pitchers.

    Only a week to go yet!

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