Earlier this week, after exploring an abandoned cemetery, my husband took me to a bog to show me a magnificent display of yellow pitcher plants under pines. The carnivorous plant, native to this area, is protected in Georgia.
The leaves of pitcher plants are tall and shaped like a pitcher. Ants, bees, and all manner of insects are attracted to the red top of the plant’s trap. After luring an insect with its nectar, its scent, and its color, the plant goes in for the kill. Imagine it: the insect, seduced by the plant, falls into the pitcher, falls to its death among digestive juices, and is consumed by the plant.
I’ve heard that if I were to dissect a pitcher plant, I would probably find pieces of legs, wings, and other parts of insects; but I’ve never dissected a pitcher and probably never will. Knowing they are a protected species, I was careful not to touch any of them. The tall yellow plants, the sun shining on them, seemed nearly holy to me, as though I should not even breathe on the beauties.
Georgia hides beautiful and interesting landscapes.
Brenda’s poetry, essays, and short stories have appeared in Flycatcher Magazine, Mobius: Journal of Social Change, Montucky Review, Muddy River Review, Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Ginosko Literary Magazine, Pegasus, and numerous other online and print journals. She is the author of Dogwood Blues, a novel that earned her a reputation as a writer of southern fiction with a love and understanding of place and landscape. Brenda was nominated for a Georgia Author of the Year Award in 2015. She is currently working on her second novel.
2 thoughts on “South Georgia’s Seductive Pitcher Plants”
That’s fascinating! I did not know we had indigenous, carnivorous flora, much less that they were protected. Thank you for writing about them.
They were beautiful!
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