Philip Sheridan1,2 and William Scholl1
1. Meadowview Biological Research Station and
2. Dept. Of Biological Sciences, Old Dominion University.
Sarracenia pitcher plants are known for both their carnivorous habit and brightly colored leaves. Wild-type individuals normally contain anthocyanin pigments in flowers and/or leaves. Plants which completely lack anthocyanin have been found in several populations of pitcher plant species in the Gulf Coast. This anthocyanin deficiency is caused by a recessive allele (green) involved in a biochemical step between leucocyanidin and pseudobase. Wild-type leaf extracts in acidified methanol turn red whereas the mutant remains unchanged. Confirmation of the mutant can be performed by boiling the methanolic extract in 4N HCL and observing a red solution. We hypothesized that investigation of western Florida pitcher plant bogs would result in the discovery of this plant. Searches by the junior author during 1998 in a Liberty County, Florida S. purpurea ssp. venosa var. burkii population resulted in the discovery of several individuals of this rare mutant. This discovery represents an addition to the flora of Florida.