Saturday, October 21, 2017

The collection in flower, 2017

Sarracenia collection i flower, 2017

Finally – the collection is in flower and the first pitchers are opening!

Sarracenia in flower, 2017

This is the Sarracenia flava var. atropurpurea / all red flava pond - most of these are FRT 1-1.

Sarracenia in flower, 2017

The flava var. flava/maxima/rugellii/cuprea/ornata pond (so striped/veined/green and cut throat flava). The pot at right is a mini-bog I set up just for my VFTs. Behind it is the red tube (flava var. rubricorpora) pond.

Sarracenia in flower, 2017

And finally, the leucophylla pond.

Sarracenia leucophylla cv. Tarnok in flower, 2017 Sarracenia leucophylla flowers, 2017 

There’s only a few leucophylla flowers open so far – cv. Tarnok and a random clone from my friend Owen. The majority of the other clones are still a week or so off flowering yet.

Sarracenia flava var. cuprea 'Gotcha Plants heavy vein', 2017 Sarracenia flava var. cuprea 'Gotcha Plants heavy vein' in flower, 2017

This is a flava var. cuprea I got from Gotcha! Plants back in 2009. Its been a very solid performer.

Sarracenia flava var. cuprea 'Fly Free Zone F1' in flower, 2017 Sarracenia flava var. cuprea 'Fly Free Zone F1" in flower, 2017

Another coppertop flava, this is ‘F1’ (as in flava clone # 1) from Fly Free Zone (David & Felicity Martin). Over 30 years old and still one of the better coppertops around.

Sarracenia flava var. maxima 'Harleyville, NC' in flower, 2017 Sarracemia flava var. maxima 'Harleyville, NC' in flower, 2017

Here’s the only Sarracenia with pitchers fully opened – flava var. maxima ‘Honeysuckle Road, Harleyville, NC’. Greg Bourke imported a load of seed from this locality in the early 2000s, germinated some and gave the rest to other growers, one of whom was Ron Abernethy, who then gave this and a few other plants to me. Var. maxima are a surprising rarity here in OZ; most I’ve grown turned out to be a hybrid with Sarracenia alata, or produced a copper lid if grown in full sun.

Sarracenia flava var. flava 'Harleyville, NC via RSBG Sydney' in flower, 2017 Sarracenia flava in flower, 2017

At left is another Harleyville, NC, plant, this time a var. flava. I brought this plant at the Sydney meeting of the International Carnivorous Plant Society in 2007; it sometimes produces very pronounced teeth on the umbrella of the flower. At right is another var. flava, this time fro Gotcha! Plants in Queensland.

Sarracenia flava var. flava 'Gotcha! Plants clone' in flower, 2017 Sarracenia flava in flower with Drosera binata var. multifida (Blue Mountains clone), 2017 Sarracenia flava in flower, 2017

Sarracenia flava var. flava 'Gotcha! Plants clone' in flower, 2017 Sarracenia flava in flower, 2017

A few more assorted flava flowers, noting also that the Blue Mountains Drosera binata growing in the same pots are also out of dormancy.

Sarracenia flava var. aropurpurea (FRT 1-1 x Reytter's atropurpurea), 2017 Sarracenia 'David Martin' in flower, 2017

Here’s a couple of special things from the all red flava pond. At left is a cross between FRT 1-1 and a clone of flava var. atropurpurea I used to grow from Phil Reytter of Lithgow. Phil’s plant was not very vigorous, so it went from the collection last year. But its cross with FRT 1-1 is very vigorous. At right is a Sarracenia x moorei backcross I like to call ‘David Martin’ after its breeder. It produces spectacular red tubed pitchers with very heavily veined lids. Its been a bit temperamental in the collection here, but I’m hoping that it will come good for me this year.

Sarracenia flava var. atropurpurea ' FRT 1-1' in flower, 2017 Sarracenia flava var. atropurpurea (leucophylla introgressed) 'FRT 1-1', 2017

And to close, the flowers of FRT 1-1, a leucophylla-introgressed all red flava grown by David from imported seed in the 1970s.

Sarracenia flava var. atropurpurea 'FRT 1-1' (leucophylla introgressed) in flower, 2017

‘Till next time!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Inching closer to the first 2017 Sarracenia flowers…

The Sarracenia collection in full bud, 2017

The first Sarra flower of the year is getting close – nearly all the plants have produced scapes that have started to nod forwards. Note the pond at upper middle is less developed than the rest of the ponds; these are the Sarracenia leucophylla.

Sarracenia flava var. ornata 'Biddlecombe's heavy vein', unopened flowers and pitchers Sarracenia flava var. maxima (Honeysuckle Road, Harleyville, NC) unopened pitchers and flowers

The first to open is going to be a coin-toss between S. flava var. ornata ‘Biddlecombe heavy vein’ and a nice clone of S. flava var. maxima from Honeysuckle Road, Harleyville.

Sarracenia flava var. atropurpurea flower buds, 2017-2018 season

The Sarracenia flava var. atropurpurea ‘FRT 1-1’ contingent may have been the first to appear, but they have been well and truly overtaken.


As mentioned above, the Sarracenia leucophylla are usually always a little bit later to flower than the S. flava. These are the flower buds of cv. “Tarnok”. Its taken since 2009 when I first got them from Gotcha! Plants to get them to a decent population. I’m thinking it may be an idea to hybridize some of them with any overlapping S. flava varieties to see what I get.


Elsewhere in the collection, the sundews are beginning to emerge from dormancy. These new leaves of D. binata only opened in the last few days. They are always a spectacular sight at this stage of their development…

Drosera filiformis ssp. filiformis

As are Drosera filiformis. These are the typical variety.

Pleiospilos Lithops

To close, here are some succulents – a flowering Pleiospilos nelii stone plant (which remarkably takes our winters with very little protection) and an unnamed Lithops.

Monday, September 25, 2017

A couple of quick pics from the lowland Nepenthes terrarium

Nepenthes ampullaria f. green basal pitchers, terrarium grown

Nepenthes x hookeriana (Triffid Park clone), terrarium grown

Just a quick post to show some of the pitchers in the lowland Nepenthes terrarium I set up a few years back. The amps are finally producing basals! I need to get in to do a prune and tidy up soon, so I will post a few more pics then.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

The first pitchers emerge and a hot spring day

The first Sarracenia pitchers emerging, 2017-2018 season  The first Sarracenia pitchers emerging, 2017-2018 season

The first pitchers of the season are beginning to sprout from the rhizomes, which is great - but it means the Sarras have broken dormancy a few weeks earlier than usual. Its been a warm winter on average here due to a string of high pressure systems over southern Australia, but that still meant some very cold nights with the clear skies. When I used greenhouses, I'd have the first pitchers appear in early September, but outside it would usually be sometime in October, so a September emergence is odd. Today is also very hot, with our garden thermometer recording 34 C as I blog this. I'm just hoping this does not mean I'll get lots of pitchers shoot up, only to have a late frost burn their tops off a few days before they open.

Bees stealing water from the Sarracenia, spring 2017

The warm and dry weather has also meant the honeybees have started raiding the Sphagnum and peat for water - again, a lot earlier than normal. Usually they start to become a bother in December.

Strange weather...

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Drosera filiformis ssp. filiformis gearing up

I love Drosera, but not so many do very well with our cold temperatures. The typical and alba forms of Drosera capensis do well, but the red and broad leaf forms quickly departed. Drosera slackii went backwards steadily until I took pity on them and gave them to a friend in Sydney. Drosera nidiformis and D. burmanni hung on in small numbers for a long time, but eventually petered out. Drosera pygmaea did really well, but disappeared after the bog gardens went back to pots. Drosera rotundifolia also did well, but again I nearly lost them putting them into pots - their winter resting buds were hard to find while I repotted in the dark. That said, there is a new leaf visible in a photo on the blog post above (after) this one – check the photo with the bees.

Perhaps the best performing Drosera I've grown outdoors here are Drosera filiformis ssp. filiformis and Drosera binata (all forms of the latter are very reliable). Drosera filiformis is something that looks amazing when grown en masse, so I have a 200 mm pot crammed with it. Here's a photo of that pot just breaking dormancy:

Drosera filiformis ssp. filiformis breaking dormancy