Status: Federally endangered
Project lead: Patrick McMillan
Sarracenia jonesii (Mountain Sweet Pitcherplant) is also called Sarracenia rubra ssp. jonesii, but Alan Weakley uses the name Sarracenia jonesii in his 2015 Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States.
Pitcher plants are carnivorous plants, catching and dissolving insects to furnish their need for nitrogen. Mountain sweet pitcherplants live in cataract bogs, clinging to some precarious locations on the edges of rock outcrops (watch your step if you go visit them!). Their habit of dissolving insects is the result of the nutrient-poor soil in which they grow; they have to get fertilizer from someplace. (They’re not really carnivorous, or even insectivorous; plants don’t eat.)
The populations of Sarracenia jonesii in the Upstate have been damaged by feral hogs and by poachers, who dug up and took away the adult plants from one site. Carnivorous plants are popular among collectors. These plants are protected both under the U.S. Endangered Species Act and under CITES, which prohibits international trade in specific rare plants and animals.
IUCN Red list status: endangered
A fun field trip to visit pitcher plants on Jim Fowler’s blog.