Monday, January 2, 2012

Nursery reviews # 1, Part 1: Gotcha! Plants, Queensland

Gotcha! plants is, in my opinion, far and away the best supplier of carnivorous plants in Australia – if not the best in the world – because they grow every plant they sell from seed and are continually striving to breed better plants every year. Their range is therefore always increasing and the quality of their species and hybrids is nothing short of spectacular. As if this was not enough, Gotcha! this year acquired the entire holdings of another carnivorous plant nursery – Fly Free Zone – whose owners (David & Felicity Martin) had spent the best part of 30 years breeding and selecting some of the best Sarracenia in cultivation anywhere. Gotcha’s manager, John Creevey, even described David Martin as the “Geoff Mansell of the Sarracenia - an impressive compliment given Gotcha! and Fly Free Zone were competitors at the time. Not that John can talk though – his plants are the Rolls Royce’s of Sarracenia! We’ll see David and Felicity’s plants in part 2.


Gothca flava clones Gotcha_2

To start off, here is John’s stock collection. Among the jewels in this Royal Crown are 4-foot tall Sarracenia leucophylla (last year they reached 124 cm!); Sarracenia flava var. rubricorpora that are nearly as large; vigorous all-red Sarracenia flava var. atropurpurea that turn redder than many European clones when grown in shaded conditions (!) – the list goes on! And it is these plants that are the basis for John’s hybrid and species breeding programmes!

leucophylla giant

Here’s that 124 cm high S. leucophylla I mentioned earlier. Those S. flava var. rubricorpora are not much shorter – around 100-110 cm.

Now just check out his sale plants, all unique, all grown from seed…

Gotcha_stock_8 Gotcha_stock_1 Gotcha_stock_3 Gotcha_stock_7

The all-red plants in the first photos are Sarracenia x moorei, a cross between FRT1-1 and a standard S. leucophylla. They are magnificent! The last photo shows a S. leucophylla x S. psittacina that John produced last season – its a two-year-old plant. John really has growing from seed down pat…


Here are some plants ready to go out for sale. I really like the S. flava var. rubricorpora x S. alata red throat to the left of photo.


Plenty of nice things here…


For some reason, I really like S. leucophylla hybrids. The frilly hoods really are impressive.


More nice all red S. x moorei here too…


And here too… how I overlooked the one in the middle with the tight throat when I picked out some plants to take home I really don’t know.


And plenty of really nice S. flava, S. leucopylla and hybrids here too!


And to finish off, some S. x moorei x alata red throat.

More to come in part two, where we will look at David and Felicity’s plants.