Without a doubt, Sarracenia alata is one of the most variable species of North American pitcher plant, with about ten general varieties and multitudes of gorgeous hybrids between them. The "typical" form of this species is a handsome plant, with the oldest plants bearing pitchers over two feet tall!
Early pitchers are narrow and gracile, with prominent coloring inside the mouth. Mid- and late-summer foliage is broader and robust, the species' prominent "neck bulge" (where part of the tube immediately below the mouth is wider and more colorful) adding girth to height. Some plants have pinstripe venation throughout the upper portions of the trap, others have a thin layer of fuzz. Many have different colored lips - shades of purple, bright yellow, and bright neon green are not uncommon.
This species enjoys hot muggy weather and as much sunlight as you can manage. In the right conditions, it produces loads of nectar that attracts wasps and yellow jackets. Sarracenia alata consumes more nasty insects at our nursery than any other species besides S. leucophylla.
The common name,
pale pitcher plant, comes from the array of pale yellow to off-white flowers that bloom in mid
to late spring.
Plants You Receive
Plants are shipped in 4-inch pots with proper growing media. Each plant is a division from select mother plants in our collection. Pitchers are expected to reach 12 inches during their first season after division.
All cold hardy plants are grown outdoors at our nursery in Oregon and experience the changes of the seasons. Care instructions are provided.
Please watch the monthly video
for examples of how your plant may look at this time of the year and important growing tips for the season.
Type of Plant
Cold hardy perennial for outdoor growing.
Eastern Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama.
Size of Adult Plants
16-24 inches tall.
Full sun, 6 or more hours of direct sunlight.
Use mineral-free water or water low in minerals (less than 50 parts per million). Keep the soil wet by setting the plant in a dish of standing water.
Use 1 part peat moss and 1 part perlite (or washed river sand). Avoid fertilizers, regular garden soil, and compost.
April - October. Pitchers will brown at the onset of winter dormancy.
Hardy of winter frost. Mulch in USDA zones 7 and colder.