Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bog Plants at the NC Botanical Garden

When we visited the NC Botanical Garden in June the bog garden was in full bloom.

There was lots of Plymouth Rose-Gentian, whose fragrance is as exquisite as its beauty.

And lots of Pitcher Plants. Pitcher Plants live in bogs that are very low in
nitrogen, and they have evolved to digest insects as their nitrogen source.

They have unusual-looking rounded flowers, and the plants themselves
come in so many different colors and patterns because they hybridize freely.

Insects lured by the promise of nectar find that they cannot crawl back
out and eventually fall into a liquid-filled cavity at the base of the plant.

These Common Grass Pink Orchids are exquisite too.

The Sundews are elegant in a surprising sort of way, and even have
beautiful little pink flowers covered in fuzzy down that are in bud
in the picture. Like the Pitcher Plants Sundews are carnivorous.

Whereas the Pitcher Plants utilize a "pitfall trap" to catch their prey, the fine sticky hairs on the stems of this Tracy's Sundew attract insects and then capture them, even physically curling around their prey, although at much slower speeds than a Venus Flytrap.

Venus Flytraps are native only to an area within a 100 mile radius of Wilmington, NC. Historically Pitcher Plants had a much wider range than that of Venus Flytraps, with the range of the Purple Pitcher Plant extending even to the mountains.

An artist's representation of some of what Pitcher Plants and Sundew Plants enjoy eating.

Looking for more vitamin C?

Those Orange Milkworts do look yummy.

Last but not least, Few-Flowered Milkweed. Besides liking wet
conditions, this is a much taller and more airy plant than Butterfly Weed.

The display almost makes you want to build raised peat beds and water them 3 times a day doesn't it? Perhaps a nice-sized pot or tub would be doable..


  1. Good morning Sweetbay, what an interesting place. Bog plants almost look like alien plants. I like the photo of the example of the cross hybrids... what cool looking plants.
    The sculptures of the dragonflies are fun.

  2. What a wonderfully illustrated and informative post! I've always been fascinated by carnivorous plants, but I'm afraid they would die if I tried growing them. I also especially like that milkweed, it has such interesting flowers.

    You took some beautiful pictures!

  3. Pretty and interesting blog flowers! I once turned a concrete goldfish pond into a bog garden. Less upkeep!

  4. Interesting bog plants. I've never seen most of them.

  5. Um, watering three times day--no thank you:) I'm having trouble keeping up with once or every other day here.

    Your photos are stunning as always, Sweetbay. Seeing the Sundew reminds me that growing one was a project my daughter had in biology one year. We nursed it along all winter in the house, which probably wasn't the best environment for it. But she did get her extra credit!

    Hmmm, I wonder if the Pitcher Plant could catch Japanese beetles:)

  6. You did a great job photographing the plants there on your visit! Very interesting bog plants too!

  7. Amazing! Lovely images ... so many unusual plants. Thank you for sharing.

  8. What a great place to visit SB. I bought a pitcher plant this spring (at our local greenhouse) and it seems to be happy in my little pond (I put it in one of those floating devices). I didn't realize it would flower so now I'll try and keep it alive over the winter just to see what happens.
    I was always fascinated by venus flytraps. A tub would certainly be the easiest way to try some of these plants instead of constant watering!!

  9. You have captured the beauty of those Gentians very nicely.

    If you ever get the chance to visit the Lewis Ginter Gardens in Richmond, make sure you see their bog garden.

  10. Beautiful, interesting plants. Yes, it does make me want to plant a bog garden in a tub. thanks for the inspiration!

  11. I like those picher plants.

    If I had a large pond I'd have a great swathe of them.

    I saw them featured on a TV show a few weeks ago and had no idea they were hardy. Well they look so exotic.

  12. Great photos. I've always found these plants fascinating and creepy as well. They are so interesting.

  13. Great post! I didn't even know pitcher plants were native to anywhere in the US.... The common orchids look exquisite, I wish I could grow them here. Thank you for this wonderful tour.

  14. Hi Sweetbay!I wonder if we were there at the same time! Wouldn't it be funny? We spent 12 days in NC in June.
    Love your pictures!


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