Australian Pitcher Plant Cephalotus follicularis

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Not blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
Australian pitcher plant


The Australian pitcher plant is a small, carnivorous species known for its distinctive pitcher-like traps that lure, capture, and digest insects. The leaves of this plants are incredibility fascinating—each one morphing into a tubular shape with a hood over the entrance. These pitchers are typically green with varying degrees of red or purple coloration, especially around the inner regions and edges, due to the presence of light-absorbing anthocyanins. Contrasting veins often pattern the pitchers, adding to their visual allure and aiding in attracting prey. The trap's opening, rimmed with a slippery, nectar-secreting peristome, encourages insects to investigate, and ultimately, to slip and fall into the digestive fluid contained within the pitcher. The hood that overarches the pitcher's mouth serves to prevent rainwater from diluting this digestive fluid. Around the pitchers, non-carnivorous, foliage leaves can also be found, which are more typical of other plants in appearance—broad and flat. The Australian pitcher plant also blooms, producing small, unassuming flowers atop a stalk that rises above the foliage. The flowers are usually greenish or pale yellow, with a modest look compared to their showy, insect-trapping counterparts below. Each flower has a number of petals surrounding a central reproductive structure, essential for the plant's pollination and subsequent seed production. Despite the lack of specific measurements, this description provides a detailed visual of the Australian pitcher plant's unique and intricate features.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Australian Pitcher Plant, Albany Pitcher Plant, Flycatching Plant, Western Australian Pitcher Plant.

    • Common names

      Cephalotus follicularis

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Australian Pitcher Plant is not known to be toxic to humans. There are no well-documented cases or reports of poisoning symptoms in humans as a result of ingesting any part of the Australian Pitcher Plant. However, as with any plant, it is always best to err on the side of caution and not consume parts of plants that are not commonly known or recognized as edible.

    • To pets

      The Australian Pitcher Plant is not commonly listed as a toxic plant to pets. However, pets generally should not be allowed to ingest plants as they might cause gastrointestinal upset or other problems due to the animal's specific sensitivities. If a pet ingests part of an Australian Pitcher Plant, it is advisable to monitor them for any signs of illness and consult a veterinarian if any concerning symptoms arise.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      6 inches (15 cm)

    • Spread

      10 inches (25 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: Cephalotus follicularis, commonly known as the Australian Pitcher Plant, is often grown for its unique and intriguing pitcher-shaped leaves which add an exotic look to gardens and indoor plant collections.
    • Insect Control: The Australian Pitcher Plant is carnivorous, trapping and digesting insects, which can help naturally reduce the population of pest insects around it.
    • Education and Research: It provides a fascinating opportunity for educational purposes, allowing individuals to study carnivorous plant mechanisms and adaptations.
    • Hobby Interest: Cultivating Cephalotus follicularis can be a rewarding hobby for plant enthusiasts, especially those interested in carnivorous plants, due to its rarity and specific growing requirements.
    • Conservation: Growing the Australian Pitcher Plant can raise awareness of the need to conserve unique species and their natural habitats, as this species is native to a small region in Southwest Australia and considered at risk in the wild.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Cephalotus follicularis, known as the Australian pitcher plant, can be used as a subject in botanical illustration classes due to its unique and intricate structure, which poses a challenging subject for artists looking to hone their skills in depicting plant anatomy.
    • This plant can act as an educational tool within carnivorous plant study modules in schools and universities, providing a living example for students to learn about adaptation, evolution, and plant-insect interactions.
    • The unique look of Cephalotus follicularis makes it a compelling addition to fantasy-themed gardens, where its otherworldly appearance can contribute to a whimsical or alien-like landscape design.
    • Widely appreciated by carnivorous plant enthusiasts, it can be used in these communities for propagation and cultivation workshops, teaching techniques on how to care for and propagate unusual plant species.
    • In photography, the Australian pitcher plant may serve as an intriguing subject for macro photography, allowing photographers to explore the complex textures and colors of its pitchers.
    • It can be used as an organic model in 3D animation and modeling software, inspiring fantasy creatures or environments in video games and movies.
    • The plant is an attractive option for creating desktop wallpapers or background images due to its visually striking pitchers and vibrant colors.
    • Cephalotus follicularis might inspire biomimicry design projects, where its trapping mechanism could influence new ideas in sustainable technology or engineering solutions.
    • Hobbyists who engage in terrarium and paludarium creation use the Australian pitcher plant to create naturalistic aquatic and semi-aquatic ecosystems with an artistic touch.
    • For specialty plant collectors, it represents a rare find and adds a unique element to their collections, emphasizing diversity and rarity.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Australian Pitcher Plant is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Australian Pitcher Plant is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Rarity: The Australian Pitcher Plant, which is what Cephalotus follicularis is commonly known as, is a rare and unique species. This rarity symbolizes distinctiveness and the value of uniqueness in a world where commonality is the norm.
    • Uniqueness: With its distinctive pitcher-like traps, the Australian Pitcher Plant represents the beauty of being different and embracing one's unique traits and characteristics.
    • Adaptation: As a carnivorous plant, the Australian Pitcher Plant is adapted to nutrient-poor environments. It symbolizes the ability to thrive and adapt in challenging situations or environments.
    • Attraction: The pitchers of the Australian Pitcher Plant attract insects, symbolizing allure and the idea that appearances can be deceiving, reflecting the plant’s predatory nature hidden behind a seemingly innocent façade.

Every 2-3 days
10000 - 20000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Australian pitcher plant prefers consistent moisture, so it should be watered thoroughly when the top inch of soil begins to feel dry. Water the plant every 1 to 2 weeks, depending on environmental conditions. Use about 8 to 16 ounces of water for smaller pots, ensuring any excess water can drain away to prevent root rot. During the active growing season in spring and summer, you may need to increase the frequency of watering. Always use rainwater or distilled water if possible, as this carnivorous plant is sensitive to minerals found in tap water.

  • sunLight

    The Australian pitcher plant thrives in bright, indirect sunlight. Avoid direct afternoon sun which can burn the foliage. A spot that receives morning sunlight, followed by partial shade or filtered light throughout the day, is ideal. If grown indoors, a south-facing window with a sheer curtain can provide the right light conditions.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Australian pitcher plant does well in a temperature range of 70 to 90°F during the day, dropping to 50 to 65°F at night. It can tolerate a brief dip to just above freezing, but prolonged exposure to temperatures below 32°F can be detrimental. The ideal conditions are a warm climate with cooler nights to mimic its native habitat.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning the Australian pitcher plant is done to remove dead or dying pitchers and to encourage new growth. Trim away any brown or damaged pitchers at the base using sterile scissors. Pruning is best done in late winter or early spring before new growth starts. This maintenance is typically carried out once a year, or as needed to keep the plant looking its best.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The Australian Pitcher Plant prefers a well-draining soil mix consisting of 1 part peat moss to 1 part silica sand, with a pH of around 4.5 to 6.5.

  • plantRepotting

    The Australian Pitcher Plant should be repotted every 2 to 3 years to refresh the soil and accommodate growth.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    The Australian Pitcher Plant thrives in high humidity, ideally around 70-90%.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light with high humidity and cool temps.

    • Outdoor

      Use partial shade, keep moist, and protect from frost.

    • Hardiness zone

      8-11 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life cycle of Cephalotus follicularis, commonly known as the Albany pitcher plant, begins with seed germination, which can be slow and sporadic, often requiring stratification to break dormancy. Upon germination, a small rosette of non-carnivorous leaves develops, and as the plant matures, it starts to produce its distinctive jug-shaped carnivorous pitchers to trap insects, deriving nutrients from their decomposition. As the plant continues to grow, it forms a small cluster with many pitchers and can reproduce vegetatively through rhizome division. It reaches flowering maturity after several years, bearing small, hermaphroditic, star-shaped flowers on tall stalks, usually during late spring or summer. The flowers then develop into capsules containing numerous tiny seeds, which can be dispersed by wind, completing the reproductive cycle. Throughout its life, Cephalotus follicularis experiences cycles of dormancy, particularly in colder times of the year, when pitcher production slows or stops and the plant conserves energy until favorable conditions return.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • The Australian Pitcher Plant (Cephalotus follicularis) is best propagated during the spring or early summer when growth is most active. One of the most popular methods of propagation is by leaf cuttings. To propagate by leaf cuttings, gently remove a healthy, fully grown leaf with a portion of the petiole attached. The cutting should then be placed on the surface of a well-draining, moist potting mix. Ensuring that the cut end of the petiole has good contact with the soil is crucial for the development of roots. The pot should be placed in a warm, humid environment and kept moist, but not waterlogged, to encourage rooting. Rooting hormone can be applied to the cut end to increase the chances of successful propagation, although it's not always necessary. Roots usually develop within several weeks to a few months, after which the new plant can be potted up separately.