The Sarraceniaceae are a small family of insectivorous herbs native to North and South America. The family is composed of three geographically separated genera, Heliamphora, Darlingtonia and Sarracenia. Recent molecular evidence suggests that Darlingtonia is sister to a Heliamphora-Sarracenia clade. The systematic relationships among the taxa within the genus Sarracenia are uncertain. Within the S. rubra and S. purpurea complexes, five and four infraspecific taxa have been named respectively. In this study, combined Internally Transcribed Spacer 2 and 26S large ribosomal subunit rRNA gene DNA sequences were used to infer phylogenetic relationships among the genera within Sarraceniaceae and the specific and subspecific taxa within Sarracenia. Results from this study support the sister relationship between Darlingtonia and a Sarracenia-Heliamphora clade. Within the genus Sarracenia, S. purpurea is sister to all remaining species. Additionally, the four named infraspecific taxa of S. purpurea are resolved in a well-supported clade. However, the five named subspecific taxa of S. rubra are part of a polytomy without discernable structure. This study suggests that S. purpurea ssp. purpurea var. burkii (which has been named a separate species as S. rosea) may be considered a distinct species. If so treated, then the number of species of Sarracenia stands at nine.
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Vol. 53 • No. 3