Mystery tongue identified

A few brave souls dared to take on Friday’s puzzle.  Here’s a more revealing photo; the "tongue" is actually the top of a pitcher plant: 

Kudos to Hap for correctly identifying the genus (Sarracenia) of this carnivorous plant.  This particular one is S. purpurea, which is distinctive in that it has dark red, open pitchers rather than hooded ones.  You can easily see the downward slanting hairs in the throat of the pitchers.  These hairs, as Diana pointed out, keep trapped insects from climbing back out of the pitcher. 

This pitcher plant is part of my nifty bog garden that we put together this year.  If any of them get big enough, I’ll have to try Hap’s unorthodox method of slug disposal.

Published by

Linda Chalker-Scott

Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott has a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Oregon State University and is an ISA certified arborist and an ASCA consulting arborist. She is WSU’s Extension Urban Horticulturist and an Associate Professor in the Department of Horticulture, and holds two affiliate associate professor positions at University of Washington. She conducts research in applied plant and soil sciences, publishing the results in scientific articles and university Extension fact sheets. Linda also is the award-winning author of five books: the horticultural myth-busting The Informed Gardener (2008) and The Informed Gardener Blooms Again (2010) from the University of Washington Press and Sustainable Landscapes and Gardens: Good Science – Practical Application (2009) from GFG Publishing, Inc., and How Plants Work: The Science Behind the Amazing Things Plants Do from Timber Press (2015). Her latest effort is an update of Art Kruckeberg’s Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest from UW Press (2019). In 2018 Linda was featured in a video series – The Science of Gardening – produced by The Great Courses. She also is one of the Garden Professors – a group of academic colleagues who educate and entertain through their blog and Facebook pages. Linda’s contribution to gardeners was recognized in 2017 by the Association for Garden Communicators as the first recipient of their Cynthia Westcott Scientific Writing Award. "The Garden Professors" Facebook page - www.facebook.com/TheGardenProfessors "The Garden Professors" Facebook group - www.facebook.com/groups/GardenProfessors Books: http://www.sustainablelandscapesandgardens.com

4 thoughts on “Mystery tongue identified”

  1. That’s so cool. Do you treat it as an annual? Do you bring them inside for the winter or overwinter in some other way? How could I copy in the mid-Atlantic area?

  2. These species are relatively cold hardy, though hard freezes will take them back to the ground. But many of them need a cold period to do well anyway. We’re planning on leaving them outside this winter (we’re USDA zone 8). We’ll see how they look next spring!

  3. For anon: Sarracenia purpurea

    We have a local nursery (Spring Haven Nursery) who is a wholesale supplier. Contact info at the link.

Leave a Reply