E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Sarracenia purpurea L.
Northern Pitcher Plant (common pitcher-plant; purple pitcherplant; Sanicle)
Sarraceniaceae (Pitcher-plant family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Ian Gardiner  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #24336)

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Distribution of Sarracenia purpurea
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Species Information

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Insectivorous perennial herb from a fibrous root; stems erect, 20-40 cm tall.
Basal leaves clustered, hollow, often marked with purple or dark red, open at the top or with a kidney-shaped flap, with bentback hairs inside the flap and tube.
Inflorescence a solitary flower; petals usually egg-shaped, deep purple on both sides, 2-6 cm long; sepals egg- to diamond-shaped, dark purple outside, pale green inside, 2-6 cm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Bogs and fens in the montane zone; rare in NE BC, known only from the Fort Nelson area; N to NT, E to NF and S to NY, VA, OH, IN, IL, MN and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Sarracenia purpurea

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 550 550 550
Slope Gradient (%) 0 0 0
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
7 7 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BWBS(2)

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References