Preserving an Ecosystem



Authored by Brannon Knight

Trumpet PitcherplantsThe Orianne Indigo Snake Preserve is truly a unique piece of property that we get to work on each day. The preserve alone consists of over 14 natural plant community types and 380 species of plants that have been documented. Out of the 380 species of plants, there are over 22 rare or noteworthy species such as Southern Barbara’s Buttons (Marshallia ramosa), Cutleaf Beardongue (Penstemon dissectus), and Hooded Pitcherplants (Sarracenia minor), just to name a few.

I have always been particularly interested in wanting to find Trumpet Pitcher (Sarracenia alata) plants on the preserve, however, they were virtually non-existent from the habitats where they are typically known to exist. Continuing business as usual, we conducted burn after burn and each time I searched for these elusive plants with no success. It was not until about two years ago when a single clump of plants was finally discovered. We had a special opportunity over the past year to actually transplant Trumpet Pitcherplants from an adjoining landowner’s property onto the preserve. The pitcherplants were previously located in a stand of Loblolly Pine that was used for timber production which was due to be clear cut. The owners of this property did not have a particular interest in conservation while their interest was primarily in producing fiber. Knowing that the area would soon be clear cut, we were in fear that they were going to herbicide the property or conduct an intensive site prep that would destroy the Trumpet Pitcherplant population on that piece of land. With this in mind, we decided to reach out to them and ask if we could transplant the Trumpet Pitcherplant onto our property. Fortunately for us and the pitcher plant, they happily agreed.

Currently, we have been able to transplant roughly 34 individual clumps of Trumpet Pitcherplants to three different sites on the preserve. As we continue to conduct prescribed burns throughout these sites, we will also monitor our new inhabitants, the transplanted pitcherplants. Only time will tell the success, but we are excited to be able to save a group of the native plant community and move our restoration progress one step closer to where we want to be.