Sarracenia leucophylla - Raf.
Whitetop Pitcherplant
Other English Common Names: Crimson Pitcherplant
Other Common Names: crimson pitcherplant
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Sarracenia leucophylla Raf. (TSN 21997)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.149341
Element Code: PDSAR02030
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Pitcherplant Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Nepenthales Sarraceniaceae Sarracenia
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Sarracenia leucophylla
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 10Sep2018
Global Status Last Changed: 13Oct1988
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by calculator
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Sarracenia leucophylla is a regional coastal plain endemic occurring in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi. It can be locally abundant with population sizes in the thousands. While there are hundreds of occurrences with many on protected lands, the species has many threats across it's range. The greatest threats to the species is fire suppression and conversion of habitat to pine plantations.
Nation: United States
National Status: N3

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S3), Florida (S3), Georgia (S1), Mississippi (S2), North Carolina (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Sarracenia leucophylla is a regional coastal plain endemic occurring from western Georgia south to Florida and east to southeastern Mississippi.

Area of Occupancy: 126-500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments:  

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: There are hundreds of known, extant occurrences in coastal Alabama and Florida where the species is most common. There are 2-3 extant occurrences in Georgia with an additional four historic and one extirpated. There are 20 occurrences in Mississippi but about half of those are historic.

Population Size Comments: Population estimates are not available for most occurrences. There are about 20 occurrences with thousands of individuals and 25 or more with hundreds of individuals based on the most recent population count reports.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Many (41-125)

Overall Threat Impact: High
Overall Threat Impact Comments: The greatest threat to this species is fire suppression which allows invasive species and woody species to encroach on the habitat. Logging and development are threats, directly through habitat loss/conversion and indirectly through siltation of habitat and other downstream impacts. Creating pine plantations, also involve ditching and clearing, prior to planting to pines. Ditching, including for mosquito control, alters the hydrology of the species habitat. Also hillside bogs, where the species can occur, lend themselves to stock pond creation. Hybridization with other species of Sarracenia is known to occur. This species is collected for horticulture but the degree of this threat is unknown. More localized threats include feral pigs, off road vehicles, road maintenance, mowing, and grazing.

Short-term Trend: Unknown
Short-term Trend Comments: There are several sites where this species is known to be extirpated but there are a large number that haven't been surveyed for 25 or more years---these sites should be prioritized for survey to inform trends.

Long-term Trend: Unknown

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Sarracenia leucophylla is a regional coastal plain endemic occurring from western Georgia south to Florida and east to southeastern Mississippi.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, FL, GA, MS, NCexotic

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AL Baldwin (01003), Conecuh (01035)*, Covington (01039), Escambia (01053), Geneva (01061), Mobile (01097), Washington (01129)
FL Bay (12005), Calhoun (12013), Escambia (12033), Franklin (12037), Liberty (12077), Okaloosa (12091), Santa Rosa (12113), Sumter (12119), Walton (12131), Washington (12133)
GA Early (13099), Lee (13177)*, Seminole (13253)*, Sumter (13261), Terrell (13273)*
MS George (28039), Greene (28041), Jackson (28059), Wayne (28153)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Withlacoochee (03100208)+, Lower Ochlockonee (03120003)+, Lower Chattahoochee (03130004)+, Kinchafoonee-Muckalee (03130007)+, Apalachicola (03130011)+, Chipola (03130012)+, New (03130013)+, Apalachicola Bay (03130014)+, St. Andrew-St. Joseph Bays (03140101)+, Choctawhatchee Bay (03140102)+, Yellow (03140103)+, Blackwater (03140104)+, Pensacola Bay (03140105)+, Perdido (03140106)+, Perdido Bay (03140107)+, Pea (03140202)+, Lower Choctawhatchee (03140203)+, Sepulga (03140303)+*, Lower Conecuh (03140304)+*, Escambia (03140305)+, Lower Alabama (03150204)+*, Lower Tambigbee (03160203)+, Mobile Bay (03160205)+, Upper Chickasawhay (03170002)+, Lower Chickasawhay (03170003)+, Escatawpa (03170008)+, Mississippi Coastal (03170009)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A long-lived, perennial, carnivorous plant, the stems wholly rhizomatous.
Technical Description: "Leaves erect, not persistent through winter, the larger to 9.5 dm long, tubular portion gradually widening from the base to the orifice, usually narrowly winged or the wing sometimes to 2 cm wide; leaf green below, the upper portion of the tube all the way around and both surfaces of the hood white and with conspicuous green to pink to red wine-colored venation; narrowed basal portion of the hood short, nearly erect, the blade erect to angled over and well above the orifice, ruffled on the edge, broadly rounded apically, white-hirsute on the inner surface; phyllodia erect, 15-20 cm long, swordlike. Scape 3-8 dm long. Bracts ovate, 5-10 mm long, rounded apically, purplish red. Sepals ovate or triangular-ovate, 3.5-5 cm long, upper surface maroon, lower greenish suffused with maroon. Petals 4-7 cm long, obovate at the basal portion and then constricted to an oblongish portion, finally flared to a somewhat rhombic distal portion, deep maroon above the base, paler beneath. Style disc 6-7 cm broad, reddish." (Godfrey and Wooten 1981)
Diagnostic Characteristics: Sarracenia leucophylla may be characterized by areas of whitish tissue all around the summit of the leaf and throughout the hood, the areas of whitish tissue enclosed by a conspicuous network of reddish venation; hood erect or somewhat arched but the blade held well aloft over the orifice; petals maroon (Godfrey and Wooten 1981).
Duration: PERENNIAL, Long-lived
Palustrine Habitat(s): Bog/fen, FORESTED WETLAND, Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Forest/Woodland, Savanna, Woodland - Mixed
Habitat Comments: Bogs, wet pine savannas or flatwoods, boggy borders of branch bays and cypress depressions, boggy areas by small streams.
Economic Attributes
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Economically Important Genus: Y
Economic Uses: ESTHETIC, Showy wildflower
Economic Comments: The pitchers of these plants are sought by collectors for floral displays. Such collection may be detrimental to populations of the species.
Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Sarracenia leucophylla and other Gulf Coast Sarracenias

Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Any naturally occurring population of 3 or more clumps; appropriate habitat for Gulf Coast Sarracenia species includes open and sunny ecotones, bogs, and wet prairies and savannas, and gaps along streams and swamps with moist, acidic soil that is low in nutrients; these species often occur in association with other carnivorous plants, including Pinguicula spp., Drosera spp., and other Sarracenia spp., and depend on frequent, low-intensity fires to maintain open habitat and reduce competition. The habitat preferred by these species is threatened by draining, logging, and woody encroachment due to fire suppression. Sarracenia species in this group may hybridize among themselves (e.g. S. leucophylla may hybridize with S. rubra, S. flava, S. purpurea, and S. psittacina).
Separation Barriers: Thick hardwood encroached stands due to fire suppression form barriers to these species.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 1 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 1 km
Alternate Separation Procedure: n/a
Separation Justification: S. leucophylla is bumblebee-pollinated, which suggests the possibility of long-distance gene flow; however, 1 km appears to be sufficient to distinguish populations.
Date: 11Sep2003
Author: Norden, A.H. & L.G. Chafin
Population/Occurrence Viability
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Justification: Use the Generic Guidelines for the Application of Occurrence Ranks (2008).
The Key for Ranking Species Occurrences Using the Generic Approach provides a step-wise process for implementing this method.

Key for Ranking Species Element Occurrences Using the Generic Approach (2008).
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 10Sep2018
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Gordon, K.L. (1987), rev. Treher (2018)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 08Jul1992

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Flora of North America Editorial Committee. 2009. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 8. Magnoliophyta: Paeoniaceae to Ericaceae. Oxford University Press, New York. xxiv + 585 pp.

  • Godfrey, R.K., and J.W. Wooten. 1981. Aquatic and wetland plants of southeastern United States: Dicotyledons. Univ. Georgia Press, Athens. 933 pp.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • McCollum, J.L., and D.R. Ettman. 1987. Georgia's protected plants. Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources, and the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, Social Circle, GA. 64 pp.

  • Southern Appalachian Species Viability Project. 2002. A partnership between the U.S. Forest Service-Region 8, Natural Heritage Programs in the Southeast, NatureServe, and independent scientists to develop and review data on 1300+ regionally and locally rare species in the Southern Appalachian and Alabama region. Database (Access 97) provided to the U.S. Forest Service by NatureServe, Durham, North Carolina.

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