Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Mountain Sweet Pitcherplant - Sarracenia jonesii   Wherry
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Section 6 » Family Sarraceniaceae
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DistributionOccurs only in a small area of the southern Mountains, being certainly native in Henderson and Buncombe ("mountain bogs near Biltmore") counties. Records from Transylvania and Macon counties are of planted populations. This is a fairly recent split from Sarracenia rubra, and a few references still consider it as only a variety of that species, as S. rubra var. jonesii. Most, as does Weakley (2018), consider it as a valid species.

This species has a very limited range, being found only in the southern Mountains of NC and adjacent northwestern SC.
AbundanceRare, and mostly limited to a fairly small region within these two counties (Henderson and Buncombe), generally in the southern portions not too far north of SC. This is both a State and a Federal Endangered species.
HabitatThis species occurs mostly in bogs in NC, but it can occur in cataract seeps (seepages around waterfall margins), mostly in SC.
PhenologyIt blooms in May, and fruits in July.
IdentificationThis is a larger version of Sarracenia rubra, which is found in the Coastal Plain. The several leaves are each in the form of a narrow pitcher or trumpet, as in S. rubra and S. flava, with an average height of about 2 feet tall. The top of the leaf is a horizontal rounded hood, connected to the pitcher by a broad neck. The leaves are striped in purple or maroon, generally along "veins". The flowering stalk, which grows separately, carries the flower about 1.5-2 feet high, usually slightly shorter than the top of the pitchers. The flower is roughly cube-shaped, strongly maroon-purple, and about 1-1.5 inches across. The 5 petals droop downward. Needless to say, the species can be easily seen at a distance in the sunny wetlands of these counties, even if not in bloom. S. rubra, growing much farther to the east, has pitchers/trumpets mostly just 1-1.5 feet tall at best, and a flower that is smaller, around 1-inch across. The other montane pitcherplant in NC -- S. oreophila -- has a mostly green pitcher not striped in maroon-purple; its flowers are also bright yellow and much larger.
Taxonomic CommentsThis taxon has always been on shaky ground for being a good species. NatureServe gives it a G2 rank, but it formerly has it with a Q for Questionable Taxonomy, and even earlier as a variety of S. rubra. See the Distribution section for more details.

Other Common Name(s)Generally none.
State RankS1
Global RankG2
State StatusE
US StatusLE
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