Recently while exploring a bog in Escambia County, Fl, I discovered a group of Sarracenia leucophylla that had yellow flowers, these plants where growing along side normal Sarracenia leucophylla that had red flowers. The plants only grew in a small section of the bog and there where only about ten individuals. I do not believe they are truly anthocyanin (sorry if i misspelled that)free because the flowers had small amounts of red on the tops. I have not been able to study the pitchers yet since only the flowers have come up but I have marked the plants and will study them throughout the year.
Also i am 99% sure that these plants are not hybrids with any yellow flowered Sarracenia, as only S. psitttanica, S. rosea and S. leucophylla occur at this bog and only one other yellow flowered pitcher plant occurs in this county naturally, S. flava, but it is known from only two small sites 40 miles to the north. When the pitchers come up I will be able to positively confirm what it is.
Enjoy the photos!
Close-up of the flower, notice the small amounts of red on the top.
The yellow flowered form alongside the normal red flowered form.
Clumps of the yellow flowered and normal flowered plants.
The flower in the center would appear to be an intermediate form of the yellow and red flowered form.
They are not anthocyanin free, there's actually at least one cultivar named with yellow flowers much like this (though the name escapes me at the moment), but the plants do tend to lack a lot of the red pigment. Similar mutants have been found in the northern S. purpurea subsp. purpurea plants too, where the flowers are yellow or any intermediate peach color instead of the normal red. It kind of reminds me of the hypoerythrism found in corn snakes.
Thanks for all the replies and identification. Now the plant I am going to be most interested in was that intermediate form in the last photo, that flower had a white style and pinkish red petals, it will be interesting to see what it turns into; as well as continueng to study the pure yellow flower clones.
Unfortunately this plant occurs in a bog that is heavily threatened, the lower portion of the bog was destroyed some 12 years ago to create a drainage pond, presumably to drain the above wetland for development. Fortunately that has yet to happen but the site is heavily visited by four-wheelers and is becoming overgrown, many of the plants are etoiliated and dying from being shaded out. I wish there was some way to preserve the habitat but I do not see it happening in the near future.
Has any one else found this plant in Florida? The cultivator description only mentions plants from Alabama; and it would be interesting to find out if it is found anywhere else in the state.
So I guess no one else has seen this plant in Florida? I browsed through specimens in the local herbarium I found a similar S. leucophylla also from Escambia county that had yellow flowers, but this is the only specimen I found. It would be interesting to find out how far this gene spreads across S. leucophylla's range and if it is only confined in the this small area.