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SARRACENIA, or SIDE-SADDLE FLOWER, a genus of pitcherplants with seven species native in the eastern states of North America. They are perennial herbaceous marsh-plants with a rosette of leaves from the centre of which springs a tall stalk bearing a large single nodding flower. The leaves are erect and in the form of long slender pitchers, with a longitudinal wing and a terminal hood, to which insects are attracted by the bright colouring of the upper parts and the nectar which is secreted there. The interior of the pitcher is half-filled with water and the wall is lined internally in the lower part with stiff downward pointing hairs, which prevent the escape of insects. The insects which are drowned in the pitcher become decomposed and digested by the fluid, and the products of digestion are ultimately absorbed by the walls of the pitcher and serve as a source of nitrogenous food. (See also PITCHER PLANTS.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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