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Cranberry Glades Botanical Area Science and Nature Trail
Entry 5 of 11
This is a contributing entry for Cranberry Glades Botanical Area Science and Nature Trail and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.
Plants found growing in the open bog area of Cranberry Glades lack a substrate like soil with high nutrient availability. Since the bog is filled with sphagnum moss in varying stages of decay, there is nothing in the reach of the plants that can be considered “soil” in the common sense of the word. Because of the reduced nutrient availability in the bogs, some carnivorous plants like pitcher plants (Sarracenia purpurea venosa) and sundews (Drosera rotundifolia) have colonized. Because of their ability to capture and breakdown insects, these carnivorous plants can supplement their nutrient needs for survival in the peat bogs. The plants break the insects, spiders and other small prey items down and extract the high nitrogen compounds from their bodies.

  • Open Bog Panorama
  • Grass Pink Orchid
  • Open bog
  • Sphagnum Moss
  • Sphagnum Moss
  • British soldiers lichen

Visitors to Cranberry Glades in June or July will be treated to blooms on the pitcher plants which attract bees as pollinators. Since the flowers are perched well above the pitcher shaped leaves filled with digestive enzymes the pollinating bees are less likely to be killed by the plants. Look for a plant having a tubular green leaves with red veins.

Unlike the pitcher plants, sundews are very small and require a sharp eye to spot for the first time. Look among the patches of red sphagnum moss  Sundews have a reddish hue with paddle shaped leaves covered with glandular hairs each with a tiny drop of sticky syrup at the tip. Each paddle is only about one centimeter in diameter so the sundews can be tricky to see at first.