Sarracenia purpurea L. ssp. gibbosa (Raf.) Wherry purple pitcherplant
Willoughby Bog is famous for its carnivorous plants. On the boardwalk through the bog you can study dozens of young and mature pitchers. Above is a mature, established pitcher plant with tall pitchers. Wild cranberries grow all around the pitchers throughout the bog.
Above, John shows us the hairs that are inside each pitcher. The hairs point downwards and prevent the insects inside from crawling out.
There is a nectar-like fluid inside each pitcher that is called pitfall trap fluid. It mimics nectar to entice bugs to enter the pitcher (the pitcher is actually a cupped leaf). The insect drowns and enzymes in the fluid digest it. As the plant matures, the pitfall trap fluid contains more bacteria to aid in digestion.
The pitcher plant above is a younger pitcher plant.
Above: You see a flower of a pitcher plant as it grows near the trail in the bog. Below are three more photographs of pitcher plant flowers.
Below: the hairs inside a mature pitcher.
Below you see the purple, vein-like markings on the outside of the pitchers. These markings lure insects to the plant, which think they are blood vessels.
We had a grand time photographing and learning about pitchers. I'm going back next year to photograph more and different phases of the life cycle of these fascinating plants.