Connor Ryan — Horticulture
Pitcher plants, found only in the eastern United States, are threatened in the wild, and two taxa native to Alabama are considered federally endangered. These plants are carnivorous, but in a greenhouse setting, available prey is essentially nonexistent. Connor’s research seeks to compare the effects of an outdoor environment, a greenhouse environment and fertilizer on the growth of Alabama-native pitcher plants with the goal of developing a better understanding of pitcher plant cultivation to aid conservation efforts. Connor was surrounded by Sarracenia habitat on the Mississippi Gulf Coast where he was raised and could not pass up this opportunity to potentially impact conservation efforts and help create public awareness for pitcher plants. Understanding pitcher plant growth means these plants could become more readily available for outplanting into the wild or distribution to educational institutions such as botanical gardens and arboreta.
Project Title: The Effects of Environment and Fertilization on the Growth of Juvenile Sarracenia Leucophylla
Mentor: Dr. Amy Wright, Department of Horticulture