|Healthy Sarracenia purpurea var. montana
at its only site in Georgia. Notice the natural seedling regeneration
occurring in the foreground. These plants are healthy once again!
Sarracenia purpurea var. montana is
a variety of pitcher plant found only in a few locations throughout
the Appalachian mountains. Ron Determann, from the Atlanta Botanical
Gardens, noticed that this plant was particularly threatened because
the mountain bogs that house it are being lost. For example, in
Georgia this plant is only found in one small site. This site was
being threatened by encroachment of woody vegetation that was expanding,
in part, because of the suppression of natural fire in the area.
In fact, when Ron first visited the site, only seventeen plants
Since large conservation organizations like The Nature Conservancy
are more interested in working at large, landscape scale sites,
the International Carnivorous Plant Society was an excellent partner
for Atlanta Botanical Gardens. The society has been funding Ron's
work to ensure this mountain site will remain free of encroaching
woody vegetation, so sunlight will be able to nourish the rare carnivorous
In fact, with ICPS help, Ron has even been able to increase the
size of the pitcher plant populations. He has identified parts of
the forest surrounding the bog which were once, decades ago, part
of the bog complex. In a multiphase approach, by clearing the trees,
reintroducing Sphagnum moss and other bog plants, he helps prepare
new bog habitat for the pitcher plants. All the reintroduction work
is done by harvesting seed from the bog, propagating it at Atlanta
Botanical Gardens, and then replanting it at this site.
|Determann in a young, healthy bog annex housing
Sarracenia purpurea var. montana and other native,
rare wetland species. Before the restoration work at this site,
the woody vegetation had completely displaced the rare wetland
||Ron Determann, standing in a recently cleared
thicket in the bog complex. Notice the recently established,
developing bed of green Sphagnum moss.
What was once a single site with only a few plants has been transformed
into a bog complex with several clearings and several hundred plants!