11. Sarracenia rubra Walter, Fl. Carol. 152. 1788.
Sweet or red pitcher plant Sweet or red pitcher plant
Plants forming dense clumps; rhizomes 0.5-1.5 cm diam. Pitchers persistent, dying back if frozen, appearing with flowers and continuously all summer, erect, green to flushed red or solid maroon, often red- or purple-veined distally, major veins and crossveins of internal and external surfaces dark maroon-red, without white areolae, (short-petiolate, proximal solid petiolar portion to 1/4 length of pitcher, tapering gradually from base to orifice or sometimes scarcely bulging abaxially in distal portion), (6-)10-52(-57) cm, firm, waxy, external surface glabrous or puberulent, wings 0.5-2 cm; orifice oval, 0.5-3.5 cm diam., rim green to red or maroon, tightly revolute, with no or distinct indentation distal to wing, sometimes forming spout; recurved adaxially, held beyond and covering orifice, sometimes held close to orifice, green to maroon, faintly red- or maroon-veined, or conspicuously and densely reticulate-veined, all veins of abaxial and adaxial surfaces of hood and neck red to maroon throughout proximal and distal portions, without white areolae, ovate, flat to slightly undulate, 0.7-4.5 × 0.7-4 cm, longer than wide, base attenuate to cordate, scarcely constricted, neck 0.5 cm, margins entire or slightly undulate (proximal margins scarcely reflexed), apiculum 1-3 mm, adaxial surface with hairs to 0.5 mm. Phyllodia absent. Scapes 1-2, from 1 bud, 12-75 cm, usually 1.5-2(-3) times height of tallest pitchers; bracts 0.4-1 cm. Flowers strongly fragrant; sepals maroon, 1.5-2.7 × 2-2.6 cm, (margins strongly reflexed abaxially after anthesis); petals maroon to red, distal portion obovate, 2.5-4 × 1.3-2.5 cm, margins erose; style disc greenish, 2-3.5 cm diam. Capsules 0.5-1.5 cm diam. Seeds 1.2-1.5 mm. 2n = 26.
Subspecies 2 (2 in the flora): se United States.
S. McDaniel (1971) stated that his broad concept of Sarracenia rubra included four intergrading regional variants. F. W. Case and R. B. Case (1976) treated the S. rubra complex as comprising four taxa: S. alabamensis subsp. alabamensis, S. alabamensis subsp. wherryi, S. jonesii, and S. rubra. D. E. Schnell (1977) distinguished the same taxa, all as subspecies, and later described an additional one, subsp. gulfensis, which differs quantitatively from typical S. rubra. See discussion under S. alabamensis.
The relative proportion of the proximal tube interior (petiole region) that is solid helps distinguish Sarracenia rubra from S. jonesii. Some specimens of subsp. rubra from the fall line of South Carolina can be large and robust like S. jonesii.
SELECTED REFERENCE Schnell, D. E. 1977. Infraspecific variation in Sarracenia rubra Walt.: Some observations. Castanea 42: 149-170.