Pitcher plants are large carnivorous plants. There are many varieties of pitcher plants in existence. The plants fall into one of two pitcher plant families: Nepenthes or Sarracenia. Pitcher plants range from the size of an adult's fist to up to 3 feet long. The name pitcher plant originates from the fact that their tubes look like pitchers.
Pitcher plants are found in many places on the globe. The most common species of pitchers are those found in North America. North American pitcher plants grow wild in the southeastern United States. The plants are also found in some places along the East Coast and in the Midwest.
Pitcher plants prefer humid weather and sandy, loamy soil. In the wild, they are found along the banks of lakes and rivers. The plants grow best in wide-open spaces where they are uncrowded and receive unfiltered sunlight.
Pitcher plants are carnivorous. Smaller pitchers consume a diet of insects. Other pitchers eat small frogs and lizards. The largest pitcher plants trap and digest rodents as large as rats.
The pitcher plants attract prey with their aroma. Small pitcher plants that feed on insects emit sweet aromas that smell like nectar. The larger pitchers that feed on rodents release scents that smell like rotting meat.
Pitcher plants are perennial plants that bloom yearly. The plants become dormant in late summer, when their natural habitats dry out. During the dormant months, pitchers store energy to prepare for the blooming season. Blooms appear April through September.