Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Sarracenia purpurea
purple pitcher-plant

Distribution: Occurring chiefly west of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to Washington; native to the Great Lakes region and eastern North America.

Habitat: Swamps, bogs and seeps.

Flowers: May-July

Origin: Introduced from central and eastern North America

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Scapose, herbaceous perennials from rhizomes, forming dense clumps, the scapes 22-80 cm. tall.


Pitchers appearing in spring with the first flowers, continuous all summer, consisting of a decumbent or ascending, curved tube 5-25 cm. long, with a hood attached to the back edge, green with reddish or purplish veins, or suffused reddish or purplish; orifice round to oval, 1.5-3.6 cm. in diameter, the rim green to purplish-red, thick and flaring; hood same color as pitcher, erect or covering orifice, reniform.


Flowers solitary and terminal on the scapes, subtended by 3 bracts; sepals 5, purplish-red, 2.2-4.2 cm. long; petals 5, red to maroon, elliptic to obovate, 3.3-5.3 cm. long; stamens 50-100; top of style expanded into a disk.


Capsules 1-2 cm. in diameter.

Accepted Name:
Sarracenia purpurea L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 510. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Sarracenia purpurea in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Sarracenia purpurea checklist entry

OregonFlora: Sarracenia purpurea information

E-Flora BC: Sarracenia purpurea atlas page

CalPhotos: Sarracenia purpurea photos

13 photographs:
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