Philip Sheridan, Meadowview Biological Research Station and Department of Biology, Virginia Commonwealth University

Sarracenia is a genus of insectivorous plants confined to wetlands of the U.S. and Canada.  Eight species are generally recognized with flower and leaf color ranging from yellow to red.  Fertile hybrids occur in the wild under disturbed conditions and can be artficially produced in the greenhouse.  Thus barriers between species are weak.  Normally when crosses occur or are induced between species or between different color types the progeny exhibit a blending of parental phenotypes called incomplete or partial dominance.  In most species all-green mutants have been found which lack any red pigment in leaves, flowers, or growth point.  Self-pollinated all-green plants result in all-green offspring and self-pollinated wild-type red plants result in red offspring.  When all-red plants and wild-type red plants are crossed in these species the offspring are all red plants.  These results suggest that red is dominant to the recessive all-green mutant.  Since partial dominance is the usual genetic pattern in the genus, dominant/recessive characteristics are an unusual phenomenon.