Our final carnivorous plant is Florida’s super cool and unique adaptive carnivorous plant: The Hooded Pitcher plant.
Florida has six species of pitcher plants native to our state.
Yellow Pitcher Plant, Whitetop Pitcher Plant, Parrot Pitcher Plant, Gulf Purple Pitcher Plant, Gulfcoast Red Pitcher Plant, and last by not least, is the Hooded Pitcher Plant.
Many of those pitcher plants are more prominent throughout the Pensacola and Tallahassee areas, but that doesn’t mean they’re not scattered in various locations in Central Florida.
This carnivorous plant had to evolve like the Pink Sundew due to its habitat preference- soils with low nutrients. Their way of trapping insects is different from that of the Pink Sundews and Butterworts called pit falls. They have these downward hairs growing inside the pitcher plants’ slippery tubular wall. Insects are lured by the scent of sweet-tasting nectar only to be fooled by a slow dissolving enzyme at the pit. Once the insect realizes it’s not an all you can eat buffet, it is again deceived by the light windows- white dots just below the plants hood, conveniently located toward the top. The crawling insect tries to grasp the downward hairs only to slide and land back into the pit.
There may be a chance of survival for flying insects, depending on if they don’t exhaust themselves from trying to escape through the fake windows and end up drowning.
Check out these videos from Wild Wander about pitcher plants:
- Yellow Pitcher Plant • WILD WANDER: Apalachicola River
- Parrot Pitcher Plant • WILD WANDER: Apalachicola River
- Seepage Bog pt.1 | Plants that Eat Bugs | Wild Wander – The Fire Forest
This section concludes some of the ‘land’ carnivorous plants, and I hope you enjoyed learning about these unusual plant species. But let’s not forget in mentioning that there are aquatic carnivorous plants as well- Bladderworts. Stay tuned as we venture into these terrestrial species.
Stay safe in your travels.
Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants: Pink Sundew