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Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Divisio: Magnoliophyta
Classis: Magnoliopsida
Ordo: Ericales
Familia: Sarraceniaceae
Genera: Darlingtonia - Heliamphora - Sarracenia


Sarraceniaceae Dumort. (1829)

Sarraceniaceae is a family of pitcher plants (along with Nepenthaceae), belonging to order Ericales (previously Nepenthales).

The family comprises three extant genera, Sarracenia (American Pitcher Plant, or Trumpet Pitcher), Darlingtonia (Cobra Lily or California Pitcher Plant), and Heliamphora (Sun Pitcher), as well as the extinct Archaeamphora longicervia. The first two are native to North America while Heliamphora is native to South America. All three are carnivorous plants that lure insects with nectar and use their elongated tube shaped leaves filled with water and digestive enzymes (or bacteria in the case of Darlingtonia) to catch and consume them. Many species also use downward pointing hairs and waxy secretions to make it difficult for insects to escape.

These plants grow in nutrient-poor, often acidic soil and use the insects as a nutritional supplement. The pitchers originate from a rhizome and die back during the winter dormancy. Plants of the genus Sarracenia occur mostly in Sphagnum bogs.

Most Sarraceniaceae have tall, narrow pitchers that are vertical or nearly so. Sarracenia purpurea, however, has short, squat, bulbous pitchers close to the ground, and Sarracenia psittacina has pitchers that grow horizontally.

The purple pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea) is the official flower of Newfoundland and Labrador.


* Sarraceniaceae in L. Watson and M.J. Dallwitz (1992 onwards). The families of flowering plants.
* D’Amato, Peter, The Savage Garden, Berkeley 1998, ISBN 0-89815-915-6

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