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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Sarracenia flava var. atropurpurea overload!

When I set out to grow carnivorous plants, I wanted to grow them to the best of my ability. I wanted to grow pitchers that large and were beautiful for their colour and form. I wanted to achieve this aim because I think Sarracenia, especially the deep red forms of flava, are among the most elegant and beautiful plants on Earth. Being able to see them at will would be a dream come true.

The 'red' Sarracenia flava bog garden The 'red' Sarracenia flava bog garden The 'red' Sarracenia flava bog garden

The red flava bog is the closest I have come to achieving this aim. And all I can say is: WOW!

Sarracenia flava var. atropurpurea 'FRT 1-1'

My absolutely favourite plants – Sarracenia flava var. atropurpurea – are the stars of this bog. In the above photo are no less than three of the seven or so clones of that variety that I grow. The best of these is a clone called FRT 1-1. This is, of course, my favourite plant.

Sarracenia flava var. atropurpurea 'FRT 1-1' Sarracenia flava var. atropurpurea 'FRT 1-1' Sarracenia flava var. atropurpurea 'FRT 1-1' Sarracenia flava var. atropurpurea 'FRT 1-1' Sarracenia flava var. atropurpurea Sarracenia flava var. atropurpurea Sarracenia flava var. atropurpurea 'FRT 1-1' Sarracenia flava var. atropurpurea 'FRT 1-1'

FRT 1-1 has this year excelled itself beyond my wildest dreams. The pitchers are huge and the profusion of pitchers is breathtaking. The cool of spring means they keep their colour rather well and even in mid summer they do not bleach out like a lot of other plants do. Seeing so many of their pitchers like this is absolute tonic for the soul after a tough day at work.

Sarracenia flava var. atropurpurea x var. rubricorpora Sarracenia flava var. atropurpurea x var. rubricorpora Sarracenia flava var. atropurpurea x var. rubricorpora Sarracenia flava var. atropurpurea x var. rubricorpora

This is another atropurpurea clone contributing to the awesomeness of this bog. Its a cross made by Gotcha! Plants, probably between FRT 1-1 and a red-tube flava or flava var. rubricorpora called FRT 1.

Sarracenia flava var. rubricorpora 'FRT 1' Sarracenia flava var. rubricorpora 'FRT 1' Sarracenia flava var. rubricorpora 'FRT 1'

The above photos are flava var. rubricorpora, FRT 1. It, like FRT 1-1 is a David Martin plant.

Sarracenia flava var. rubricorpora, Reytter's clone Sarracenia flava var. rubricorpora, Reytter's clone

As good a plant as FRT 1 is, it is dwarfed by Phil Reytter’s flava var. rubricorpora. This plant will probably be on sale at the Plants with Bite exhibition at the Mount Tomah Botanic Gardens is a few weeks.

Sarracenia flava var. rubricorpora, Sydney clone

Sarracenia flava var. rubricorpora, Sydney clone

Also dwarfed in this garden – hopefully not for long – is a clone of S. flava var. rubricorpora I got from Steve Amoroso in Sydney.  I like how the red tube gives way to delicate fluoro green speckling.

Sarracenia flava var. rubricorpora, Helmut's veined lid Sarracenia flava var. rubricorpora, Helmut's veined lid

Also buried in the bog is a clone of rubricorpora I call Helmut’s veined lid. Its lid is one of the more spectacular of the red tubed flava to be found in Australia due to its elegant venation.

Sarracenia flava var. atropurpurea, seed grown

To the left of Steve’s plant is another clone of flava var. atropurpurea bred by John Creevey, crossing FRT 1-1 with Phil Reytter’s atropurpurea. Phil’s plant, to be honest, is not such a great grower because it is so small, produced kinked pitcher peristomes regularly and is just… sooooooo… slooooooow! But this outcross is showing signs of being a really great plant.

Sarracenia flava var. atropurpurea, Blackwater SF clone Sarracenia flava var. atropurpurea, Blackwater SF clone

And to round everything out for the night, here is another var. atropurpurea, a seedling from the Blackwater State Forest Clone. This plant has taken a while to grow – I got it as a year old seedling from Ron Abernethy in 2010 – but it is fast becoming another favourite. So far its not flowered, but it will be crossed with every other atropurpurea I have when it does!

What wonders plants can do for the heart and soul…

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A chance to catch up with photos…

Finally – the last lot of pictures uploaded to Flickr and I can continue where we left off. I think we had covered the veined flava bog, so let’s take a look at the hybrid bog and the BOE (bit of everything) flava bog. The red flava bog will have to wait for later…

Bog garden planted in 2015 - first year of growth

Let’s start with the BOE bog… well, it has a bit of everything in it, so it kind of works…

Sarracenia x ((flava x alata) x flava) Sarracenia x ((flava x alata) x flava) Sarracenia x ((flava x alata) x flava)

At the front of this bog is a mini-me flava var. rubricorpora. Its actual parentage is (flava x alata) x flava. Like the other red tubed plants in this bog, it has not coloured up with so much red this year. A nice thing about this clone is its huge hood.

Sarracenia flava var. rugellii Sarracenia flava var. rugellii Sarracenia flava var. rugellii

Key plants in the BOE bog are the cut throat flava, more correctly known as Sarracenia flava var. rugelli. They are defined by the red “cut throat” blotch at the rear of the throat, and are not supposed to have venation. Just red blotchy markings. The above clone is the plant sold by Paradisea or Collector’s Corner through garden centers. A thing about rugelli is that most clones I have encountered throw no more than two or three pitchers per growing point per season. To get a big clump like you see in books, you need to mass plant them (as in 4+ growing points per pot). To make things worse, most of the rugelli I grow are very sulky plants – they just don’t do well after being repotted. This plant did ok because I lifted it out of its previous pot without disturbing its root ball. The other plants in the bog are very unhappy at the moment (read: deformed pitchers) and are not photogenic at all. I’m looking forward to seeing my plants clump up in years to come.

Sarracenia flava var. rubricorpora Sarracenia flava var. rubricorpora Sarracenia flava var. ? Sarracenia flava var. ?rubricorpora

The above plants are flava var. rubricorpora (red tube flava) from Gordon Hanna. They have put up well formed pitchers despite being repotted (vs. some of the the rugelli clones mentioned above) and should colour up next season.

Sarracenia flava var. atropurpurea, Phil Reytter's "cuprea" Sarracenia flava var. atropurpurea, Phil Reytter's "cuprea"

This plant is probably a flava var. atropurpurea. I brought it from Phil Reytter at the November 2011 AUSCPS meeting as a var. cuprea (ie. coppertop flava). In my opinion, the red extends too far down the pitcher to be a cuprea. Phil sells another plant as var. atropurpurea and, well, it is nowhere near as good as this clone.

On to the hybrid bog…

Hybrid Sarracenia bog garden

Its looking good! Most of the plants in here are late summer peaking species, so it keeps me happy when the flava are past their peak.

Sarracenia flava hybrid Sarracenia flava hybrid

This flava like plant is one of David Martin’s unnamed hybrids (its label was illegible when I got it). It fills in solidly red as the season progresses. My guess is that it is a flava-purpurea backcross, possibly with FRT 1-1 as a parent. Note also the leucophylla ‘Tarnok’ in the background… they have gutsed themselves silly on hoverflies!

Sarracenia purpurea hybrid Sarracenia purpurea hybrid

And another unknown David hybrid is this purpurea. David told me that he had no idea what the parentage actually was, but it was such a good plant he kept it.

Sarracenia seedling

Sarracenia seedling

Among the hybrids are seedlings of S. flava. These tiny plants have some good colour in them!

Sarracenia leucophylla hybrids

This leucophylla x psittacina is a John Creevey/Gotcha! Plants cross. It provides a nice contrast with the other plants in the bog that are more red in colour. This plant also has a particular skill in catching butterflies…

To the right of this photo is a David Martin leucophylla hybrid. It is a very nice plant, but I once grew an even better one. We brought it from a seller at the old Caloundra Markets on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, in the mid 1990s. It produced pitchers regularly over the season that were stocky but well marked with white windows that filled in pink. I have seen the grower I got it from at other Sunshine Coast markets selling succulents, so next time I see him I will ask if he still grows it… it would be great to get it back again!

Drosera binata 'T-form' flower Drosera binata (forked leaf sundew) root cuttings Drosera binata (forked leaf sundew) root cuttings

To close, here are some pics showing the proliferation of Drosera binata growing from the hundreds of root cuttings I spread through the bog. They are only small now, but they will eventually grow rather large. Despite their small size they are strong insect catchers – every leaf has something caught on it once unfurled!

Next up – the red flava bog update. Here is a teaser…

Sarracenia flava var. atropurpurea 'FRT 1-1'