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Sarracenia purpurea

common pitcher plant

An evergreen, semi-erect, insectivorous perennial to 30cm tall. Squat, green pitchers, to around 15cm long, are flushed and veined purplish-red, have a large lip and an erect, frilled lid. Five-petalled, purple flowers, up to 5cm in diameter, are borne well above the pitchers in spring

Other common names
Adam's cup
carrion flower
see moredumb watches
false foxglove
fever cup
fly trap
huntsman's cup
huntsman's horn
Indian cup
Indian tea kettle
meadow cup
purple sidesaddle flower
St Jacob's dipper
St John's dipper
trumpet leaf
whip-poor-will's boots
whip-poor-will's shoes
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Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Loam
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Poorly–drained
pH
Acid
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Purple Green Purple Red
Summer Green Purple Red
Autumn Green Purple Red
Winter Green Purple Red
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Sarraceniaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Clump forming, Columnar upright, Matforming
Genus

Sarracenia can be evergreen or herbaceous, rhizomatous perennials with rosettes of phyllodes mostly modified into insect-catching tubular pitchers with hooded lids, and solitary, nodding cup-shaped flowers in spring

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Canada USA

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow under glass, keep moist in full light with shelter from hot sun. Use an acidic potting medium with moss. In winter, keep slightly drier, cool and well ventilated. Irrigate with lime-free water. They will generally lose some of their leaves over winter during a period of dormancy. Most Sarracenias can be grown outside in milder parts of the country, but care should be taken in colder conditions. Choose a position in full sun, sheltered from cold winds. See carnivorous plant cultivation

Propagation

Propagate by seed or by division

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Patio and container plants
  • Conservatory and greenhouse
Pruning

No pruning required. Remove dead leaves as necessary

Pests

May be susceptible to scale insects, mealybugs, aphids and tortrix moth caterpillars

Diseases

Generally disease-free

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