Prior to the 1940s, the Venus’ Flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) was observed growing naturally as far South as Charleston and Georgetown Counties,
however these populations are now considered extirpated. Presently, all known populations of this plant in South Carolina are limited to Horry County.
Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve represents the last major stronghold for this interesting plant in the Palmetto State.
The hood of the Purple Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia purpurea), below, does not cover the pitcher, which
allows the leaves to collect rainwater, unlike the Yellow Pitcher plant (see page 33). Stiff, downward-pointing
hairs line the inner surface of the vertical hood and aid in directing unfortunate insects to their watery grave.
The Yellow Trumpet Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia flava) is typically two to three feet tall. The tubular leaves of
this plant produce digestive fluid which forms a small pool for drowning its victims inside. All pitcher plant
species are tracked by the state of South Carolina when growing wild. The hood typically excludes rainwater. Often
small treefrogs seek refuge at the upper reaches of the tubes, relying on their sticky toe pads to escape the
In Longleaf Pine flatwoods, top left, there are frequently poorly drained, low-lying areas that make it possible for carnivorous
plants to move in and make a living. Periodic fire is crucial to the survival of these species. Every two years, prescribed burns are
applied to Lewis Ocean Bay to keep the canopy thin and sparse. Sweetbay Magnolia, Magnolia virginiana, is one of
several bay shrubs growing at Lewis Ocean Bay.
Pond pine is fire dependent. Without fire, their serotinous cones do not open. This is South Carolina’s only
pine with a serotinous cone. This fire regime supports many species of carnivorous plant life, but also the Federally Endangered
red-cockaded woodpecker, most game species and other plant life that doubles as great wildlife forage.
SCDNR is dedicated to the stewardship of South Carolina’s natural resources. It is illegal to collect or destroy plants or artifacts on any SCDNR property.
Herrick Brown is an SCDNR botanist. James “Trapper” Fowler is an SCDNR wildlife biologist.
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