One of the sweetest plants to find in the Southern Appalachians, perhaps, because it is one of the most unexpected, is the trumpet-like pitcher plant known as Sarracenia jonesii. With a natural range centered on Henderson County, NC this carnivorous plant is a relatively narrow endemic just barely ranging into South Carolina. In a region most noted for forests, this pitcher plant inhabits small wetland pockets often referred to as "mountain bogs".
A quick review of the distribution map tells a tale of substantial decline, in which most of the known, naturally occurring sites have been lost. In 1986, the USFWS listed the plant as endangered. What happened to cause the decline and create the need for federal listing?
In addition to habitat loss, other Mountain Sweets have been lost due to poaching and over-collection by hobbyists. An example of this phenomenon is the extirpation from the wild of a "green race" of Sarracenia jonesii. There still appears to be ample pressure collecting pressure on the few remaining native populations.
Must we have every species in our gardens?