Sarracenia psittacina

Forget growing tall. Never mind growing squat. Sarracenia psittacina is unique in its horizontal approach to pitcher production. Also… is it just me or do those pitchers look like wee baby parrots..?

Oh, look at that! Sarracenia psittacina, is also known as the Parrot Pitcher Plant. It’s a member of the Sarraceniaceae family and is native to the southeastern United States. It is a small to medium-sized pitcher plant, growing up to 60 cm in height, and is characterized by its distinctive hooded pitchers and bright green and red coloration.

Sample of Sarracenia for Sale in the Marketplace

Unique characteristics of Sarracenia psittacina

Trap characteristics

What sets the Parrot Pitcher Plant apart from other pitcher plants is the unique shape of its pitchers. The pitchers resemble a parrot’s beak, with a small opening at the top and a curved neck that extends downward. The hooded portion of the pitcher protects the opening from rain and prevents insects from escaping, making it an effective trap for prey.

Like other carnivorous plants, Sarracenia psittacina uses its pitchers to capture and digest insects and other small prey. The inside of the pitcher is lined with downward-pointing hairs and a slippery surface that makes it difficult for prey to escape. The plant also secretes enzymes that digest the prey, which the plant then absorbs for nutrients.

Other notable characteristics

Sarracenia psittacina is often found growing in wetlands, swamps, and other areas with standing water. During periods of heavy rainfall or flooding, the plant can become completely submerged.

While most Sarracenia would suffer if completely submerged in water, Sarracenia psittacina has a unique adaptation that allows it to survive and even thrive under water. Those cute, parrot-shaped pitchers allow it to capture prey and absorb nutrients even when submerged.

When plants are submerged, and pitchers fill with water, aquatic critters can swim into them. The unique shape of the mouth opening (much like Darlingtonia Californica), confuses prey so that it can’t escape. Meanwhile, a dense array of downward-pointing hairs keeps prey moving towards the depths of the trap, where digestion occurs.

Other Sarracenia species, hybrids and cultivars


Sarracenia leucophylla var. alba ‘Hurricane Creek White’

Sarracenia leucophylla var. alba 'Hurricane Creek White' Sarracenia leucophylla var. alba is a gorgeous variety of leucophylla and 'Hurricane Creek White' is a large, robust cultivar. Unfortunately, the name 'Hurricane Creek White' is meant [...]


Sarracenia flava var. rugelii

Known as the cutthroat pitcher plant due to the distinct blood red throat blotch. The coloration and high density of nectar glands at this location on the pitcher act as a lure for hungry insects. It's no coincidence that the blotch is located right above the plant's mouth.