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Postings are excerpts from the exhibition catalog edited by Carol Woodin

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Yellow Pitcher Plant, Watercolor by Joan Geyer, US

Sarracenia flava

Listings: CITES Appendix II; Extremely Rare, Division of Natural Heritage, Virginia

The Plant’s Story

Pitcher plants are carnivorous, luring insects into their hollow tubes (leaves) with nectar and fragrance, leading them to drown in the liquid in the tube. Insects, once trapped, are digested by enzymes and bacteria. Since the plants grow in areas with few nutrients in the soil, it is important to their survival to digest bugs! This yellow pitcher plant can be found throughout the southeast in bogs and other acidic wetlands. Threats are mainly due to over-collecting for the horticultural trade and to hydrological alterations for agriculture, urban development, and roads. The State of Virginia’s Department of Transportation seeks out appropriate habitat along roadways to serve as homes to rare plant communities. Once suitable habitat areas are found a group of endangered wetland plants, including yellow pitcher plants are introduced to recreate the bog plant community. This project established 500 yellow pitcher plants grown from seed by the Meadowview Biological Research Station in Woodford, Virginia.

The Artist’s Story: Joan Geyer

Milledgeville, once Georgia’s capitol, sits in the center of the state. One of its attractions is the Lockerly Arboretum. One April day the head gardener led me across a small bridge to an island in the middle of a large pond. Here, at the sunny shoreline, masses of bright yellow blooms rose above amazing foliage – my first encounter with the Golden Trumpet! I have returned to the tiny island many times to study this fascinating species.

More of the plant’s story and the artist’s story can be found in the exhibit catalog, available at the exhibition venues or online from the ASBA.