Beginner's Guide to Sarracenia Now Available
7 May 2017
Just in time for the start of the Sarracenia growing season and the opening of the first flowers, I have published my Beginner’s Guide to North American Pitcher Plants. It’s available for free in my Resources section.
As well as offering guidance on growing locations, dormancy, water, soil and general cultivation requirements, the guide includes an interactive map showing exactly where each species grows in the wild. Hover your mouse over (or touch) a particular region on the map, and you’ll see county-level distribution data, including subspecies data where applicable.
For those who are interested in how the map was built, there is unfortunately no single source from which the required data can be gathered (at least as far as I could find). The USDA PLANTS Database lacks a proper API and the information is patchy; certain states lack county-level data, and non-native species are occasionally included without any consistency. As such, this data was cross-referenced with offline sources including McPherson & Schnell’s 2011 monograph Sarraceniaceae of North America. It’s not perfect, but my hope is that it will be useful to conservationists and Sarracenia enthusiasts around the world.
As with my Nepenthes Interactive Guide, I’m happy to update the map based on feedback. I’m also open to the idea of making the source data publicly available so that others can access it and suggest changes - if you’re interested, please get in touch via email.
Finally, I’d like to thank John Sirkett for kindly letting me use a number of his photographs, Rob Co of The Pitcher Plant Project for his invaluable feedback on both the guide and the map, and Bob Ziemer of the International Carnivorous Plant Society for investigating whether or not S. purpurea occurs naturally in Alaska (conclusion: it don’t!).
Thanks for reading, and good growing!
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