Friday, April 22, 2022

Old Sarracenia photos - Part 1

 As the last few seasons have been quite iffy for plants locally (the spring winds are the killer, wrecking the pitchers), I haven't taken so many photos of them. Here's what I did take over the last few years since I stopped posting.

Sarracenia collection, November 2020

This was the collection in early November 2020. The S. flava flowers are finishing up and the pitchers are in full cry.

Sarracenia flava var. rubricorpora “nearly all red lid”; 2020-21 season Sarracenia flava var. rubricorpora “FRT 1”; 2020-21 season

The above pitchers are of a S. flava var. rubricorpora with a nearly all-red lid. It was seed grown by Gotcha! Plants and can fill in very red mid-summer. I've had it since early 2018.

Sarracenia flava var. ornata “big mouth, compact lid”; 2020-21 season

This handsome flava var. ornata-looking thing is actually a hybrid of unknown parentage. Owen O'Neil of Strange World Carnivores sold it to me as a flava in December 2017 (see this post for pics from the day), but its since become apparent its a hybrid. Owen now sells it as "Sullivan's Legacy", recognising Richard Sullivan from Bathurst who originally bred it. Richard had a huge collection of carnivores, but has sadly disappeared from the scene. I met him once at an AUSCPS sale at Mount Tomah, and he invited me out to see his plants, which were beautifully grown. He was a top guy.

Sarracenia flava var. cuprea “Ross Rowe”; 2020-21 season Sarracenia flava var. cuprea “Gotcha Plants heavy vein”; 2020-21 season

Now for some flava var. cuprea. At left is a plant that is one of the best flava var. cuprea around. I call it 'Ross Rowe' after its originator, a local Canberra grower very active with the Canberra chapter of the AUSCPS. You can buy plants direct off him via Facebook (I don't have a link, but if you look him up, you should be able to find him). Almost as good is a heavy veined cuprea from Gotcha! Plants grown from seed supplied to John Creevey from Allen Lowrie. I've sold a number of divisions of this plant over the years, so its around if you look for it.

I'll leave it there for today, and post more pics over the coming days and weeks.

A fluke mobile phone shot...

I managed to pull off a very nice fluke shot while out taking a few idle pics of the few decent Sarracenia pitchers yesterday.

Cabbage white (Pieris rapae) feeding at a Sarracenia leucophylla pitcher

This female Cabbage White butterfly (Pieris rapae) was having a good feed at a seed-grown S. leucophylla that had recruited itself into some flytraps Owen of Strange World Carnivores sold me a few years ago. As I hit the shutter, I managed to fluke a nice shot of the butterfly taking to the air:

Cabbage white (Pieris rapae) feeding at a Sarracenia leucophylla pitcher

Zooming in, there's actually a bit going on in that shot...

Cabbage white (Pieris rapae) feeding at a Sarracenia leucophylla pitcher

Not only did I score the butterfly in decent focus, I caught its proboscis midway through being re-coiled, and an ant (probably White-footed house ant, Linepithema humile) traversing the downward-pointing hairs under the pitcher's lid.

I very much prefer my DSLR though...

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

A few autumn Sarracenia leucophylla pitchers

Despite 2021-22 being such a lackluster season, the Sarracenia leucophylla are putting up a few nice traps this year. As I parted with most of my S. leucophylla in 2019, I have only a few left, including this plant from Strange World Carnivores with lovely white windows and strong venation.

Sarracenia leucophylla (autumn 2022 pitchers)

Sarracenia leucophylla (autumn 2022 pitchers)  Sarracenia leucophylla (autumn 2022 pitchers)

I managed to catch this incredible view of it lit up by the setting sun the other week - beautiful beyond words! The photo doesn't do it justice...

Sarracenia leucophylla (autumn 2022 pitchers) Sarracenia leucophylla (autumn 2022 pitchers)

My S. leucophylla collection now consists of only the above clone, some cv. "Tarnok", a pink plant that I call 'Pink English' for Carol English who grew it from seed (noting it may be the same plant that Triffid Park sell as 'Ruby Joyce'), and a rather white hooded clone also from Strange World Carnivores. 

To finish off, here's the white hooded clone. I did briefly have 'Hurricane Creek White', which is much, much whiter than this plant, but it unfortunately died in an extremely hot summer before I could divide it.

Sarracenia leucophylla (autumn 2022 pitchers)


Monday, April 11, 2022

Fun things to do with your Rapid Antigen Test UV-LED torch...

Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) are an unfortunate fact of post-COVID life in Australia. But here's a nerdy  use for the LED torch that comes with the test kits - you can make your Nepenthes and Sarracenia pitchers glow brilliantly under the UV torch light!

Here's what my Nepenthes maxima alata looks like under UV light:

Nepenthes fluorescing under UV light

We are still figuring out what this means from a biological perspective. An excellent paper published in the ICPS journal a few years back notes that UV fluorescence is not the same a UV visibility. Fluorescence is instead where the wavelength of UV light is altered, moving it into the visible spectrum. The biological significance of fluorescence vs. reflectance of UV light is still uncertain and much research is needed in this area.

Its worthy to note that a paper that does use actual UV photography (i.e. photography through a filter that excludes anything but UV wavelengths) does resolve the glowing peristome - something that the authors appear to have overlooked at the time...

Sunday, April 10, 2022

The 2019 Triffid Park Open Day

I just realised I never got around to posting about the Triffid Park open day back in 2019... so here goes!

Triffid Park is Australia's largest CP nursery and has some lovely plants. Just before COVID reared its nasty head, they held their annual open day, which I managed to make. My aim was to acquire a few Sarracenia flava clones missing from the collection.

While I have been to Triffid Park three times and knew what to expect, a first visit is quite overwhelming due to the sheer volume of plants.

To show what I mean, here's a view of the main Sarracenia greenhouse:

Sarracenia house, Triffid Park’s 2019 open day, Victoria, Australia. 
And here's a view of just the S. flava:

Sarracenia flava; Triffid Park’s 2019 open day, Victoria, Australia.

Triffid Park grow beautiful Sarracenia - here's a few pics of their plants...

Sarracenia flava; Triffid Park’s 2019 open day, Victoria, Australia. Random Sarracenia; Triffid Park’s 2019 open day, Victoria, Australia.

Sarracenia flava et al.; Triffid Park’s 2019 open day, Victoria, Australia. Sarracenia ‘Paradisea f. Red’ et al.; Triffid Park’s 2019 open day, Victoria, Australia.

Their Nepenthes house is extremely impressive too. The racks were quite bare within hours of the doors being opened!

Nepenthes house, Triffid Park’s 2019 open day, Victoria, Australia.

Nepenthes house, Triffid Park’s 2019 open day, Victoria, Australia. Nepenthes house, Triffid Park’s 2019 open day, Victoria, Australia.

Their massive specimen plants of N. truncata and Heliamphora were stunning!

Nepenthes truncata; Triffid Park’s 2019 open day, Victoria, Australia. Heliamphora; Triffid Park’s 2019 open day, Victoria, Australia.

Carpets of Pinguicula emarginata x (x 'Wesser') grew under the Nepenthes in the cooler intermediate conditions.

Pinguicula emarginata x (x ‘Wesser’); Triffid Park’s 2019 open day, Victoria, Australia.

Here's the Triffid Park clone of N. veitchii x maxima, and a N. clipeata x ventricosa.

Nepenthes veitchii x maxima (= x allardii); Triffid Park’s 2019 open day, Victoria, Australia. Nepenthes; Triffid Park’s 2019 open day, Victoria, Australia.

And to round it off, here's the VFT house. Triffid Park offer a huge number of VFT clones, and seeing so many in one place was spectacular indeed.

Flytrap house; Triffid Park’s 2019 open day, Victoria, Australia.

I'm hoping this was not the last Triffid Park open day... may there be many more to come!

Till next time!