One of the most impressive plants we saw on our field trip to Splinter Hill Bog (see part I) was the white-topped pitcher plant, Sarracenia leucophylla. We arrived a bit too early for the height of its display; in a few weeks the whole bog will be solid with these pitchers. Nonetheless, it's a beautiful plant, and quite a few were already leafed out and in flower. The flowers of Sarracenia are beautiful and somewhat complex, and have evolved to maximize the chances of outcrossing by ensuring that pollinators first brush against the stigma with any pollen they may be carrying, then pick up new pollen, and finally exit without touching the stigma again, thereby hopefully avoiding self-pollination.
|The remains of last season's dining|