Answer to the Front Page Picture of the Week Question
for May 13th - May 23rd, 2005
This is Sarracenia alata, or yellow trumpets.
While most flowering plants have the ability to attract insects, yellow trumpets not only attract
but also digest – making them carnivorous. Insects are drawn to the fragrant nectar produced at the
upper portion of the pitcher, a tubular leaf (see the image on the right). As the insect feeds on
the nectar it becomes intoxicated and falls into the extremely slippery pitcher. At the bottom of the
pitcher the insect drowns in a pool of liquid and is digested for the desired proteins.
Yellow trumpets are native to the wet forest floors, bogs, and marshes of the southeastern U.S.,
hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 6-9, and prefer full sun. The yellow flowers emerge in
late spring and, the majority of new pitchers come up as the flower fades. The pitchers remain colorful
until late winter, adding interest to any bog garden. You can view this Sarracenia alata, in a container,
on the terrace of the Administration Building Pool.