How poisonous pitcherplants are?


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We all know they are deadly for insects that fall inside the pitcher. But I wander what is the situation in natural habitats. Does any animal (vertebrate) eat whole plants or part of plant, maybe flowers or fruits? Is there any known poisoning of human? Are pitcherplants useful for any medicine?

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I have a dim memory of reading somewhere that some Nepenthes pitchers are stuffed and cooked in some areas...... (??) And Pinguicula is used to produce a cultured dairy product in Scandinavia. I know nothing about Sarracenia in that respect though.

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Sarracenia flava at least has been shown to produce coniine, one of the toxic compounds which is found hemlock. Not sure if other sarra's produce it but I wouldn't be surprised with the extensive gene flow between them. Coniine is toxic to humans but I believe you'd have to eat a LOT of pitchers or lick the nectar of a lot of them to get a sufficient dose to notice. Given how many rotting bugs are in the pitchers on mine, I don't think I'd fancy eating any :P

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