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Coastal Scenes: The Pitcher Plant

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The carnivorous pitcher plant features a “pitcher” – a modified leaf creating the tube and an overhanging lid – where a sweet, nectar-like liquid collects and attracts insects. Downward-pointing hairs and slippery walls keep the insect trapped in the pitcher, where it eventually slips into the liquid and is dissolved by enzymes so it may be absorbed by the plant. Pitcher plans live in soils poor in nitrogen. They evolved by getting the necessary nitrogen from insects. Photo: Sam Bland

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About the Author

Sam Bland

Sam Bland spent much of his life out in the field as as a park ranger and park superintendent at the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation. Most of his 30 years with the division was spent at Hammocks Beach State Park near Swansboro where Sam specialized in resource management and environmental education. He also worked from 2009-18 for the North Carolina Coastal Federation, where he helped develop programs at the education center on Jones Island in the White Oak River. He is also an accomplished photographer.