The article quotes University of Georgia botany professor Dr. J. M. Reade as saying "there are not many in this section of the state," then describes how the pitcher plants catch and digest their prey. The carnivorous pitcher plant lures insects into the top of the plant with a sweet nectar. Rather than close down on its prey as the Venus Flytrap does, the pitcher is a passive killer, allowing the insect to simply slip or slide down into the basin of it's pitcher-shaped body where a liquid filled with digestive enzymes consumes the prey.
Though the reporter described the plants as "Nepenthaceae, or the American pitcher plant," the pitcher plants native to Georgia and other parts of North America are actually part of the Sarraceniaceae family; the Nepenthaceae family are indigenous to "tropical habitats in Australia, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, the Seychelles, Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka." The natural habitat for Sarracenia pitchers is bogland, which is why they are more common in central and southern Georgia.
In 1973, Georgia passed the Wildflower Preservation Act, which protects rare species of plants on state-owned and unowned land. Rare plants on privately-owned property are protected only so far as the property owner makes their preservation a priority. Development and wetland drainage have destroyed 97.5% of pitcher plant habitat in the southeast.
Several species of pitcher are considered endangered or threatened in Georgia, such as:
- White-top pitcher plants are considered Endangered by the state of Georgia, and are primarily confined to Sumter County.
- Green pitcher plants are considered Endangered by both the state of Georgia and under the United States Endangered Species Act, and are only found in a single site in Towns County.
- Sweet pitcher plants are considered Threatened by the state of Georgia, and while there have been up to 40 natural sites found, only two of these are protected.
- Purple pitcher plants are found both on the coast and in mountain bogs. There is only one mountain site left, and the remaining four coastal preservation sites are protected by a management agreement the state has with Georgia Power.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources lists over 150 protected plants in the state, ranging in status from Endangered, for plants facing "extinction throughout all or part of its range," to Unusual, for those plants that are rare and are "subject to commercial exploitation."
- Athens Banner-Herald, Mar. 1931 - Aug. 1931 on Microfilm in the Heritage collection.
- Field Guide to the Rare Plants of Georgia by Linda G. Chafin in the Heritage and general collections.
- The Curious World of Carnivorous Plants: A Comprehensive Guide to their Biology and Cultivation by Wilhelm Barthlott in the general collection.
- Carnivorous Plants by Elaine Pascoe in the children's collection.
- Plants that Eat Animals by Allan Fowler in the children's collection.
- Wildflowers of Georgia by Hugh O. Norse in the Heritage and general collections.
- Give Plants a Voice! An Activity Guide to the Protected Plants and Habitats of the Southeast United States by Ann Blum in the children's collection.
- Protected Plants of Georgia: An Information Manual on Plants Designated by the State of Georgia as Endangered, Threatened, Rare, or Unusual by Thomas S. Patrick in the Heritage collection.
- Georgia's Protected Plants by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources in the Heritage collection.
- The Natural Environments of Georgia by Charles H. Wharton in the Heritage and general collections.
- The Private Life of Plants: A Natural History of Plant Behavior by Sir David Attenborough in the general collection.
- Green Inheritance: The World Wildlife Fund Book of Plants by Anthony Julian Huxley in the general collection.
- Restoring Diversity: Strategies for Reintroduction of Endangered Plants by Donald A. Falk in the general collection.
- Soil Survey of Schley and Sumter Counties, Georgia by Jerry A. Pilkinton in the Heritage collection.
- Soil Survey of Rabun and Towns Counties, Georgia by Winfield S. Carson in the Heritage collection.
- Georgia Native Plant Society website.
- Pitcherplant Growing Guide on the North American Sarracenia Conservancy website.
- The Restoration of Pitcherplant Bogs Project page on the Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance website.
- Slide Show of the Interior of a Pitcher Plant on the Atlanta Botanical Garden website.