Saturday, September 16, 2017

Still here and still growing…

Its been nearly a year since I last updated the blog – I’ve taken somewhat of a break with carnivorous plants to be honest, as they became a lot less enjoyable than they should be due to a few (people-based) incidents. But I’m still here and the collection is still growing – in fact, the first flower buds are beginning to appear, despite the cold (we can expect frosts up to around the end of the first week of November here).

Dormant Sarracenia

Flower buds on Sarracenia flava 'FRT 1-1'

This pot of Sarracenia flava ‘FRT 1-1’ is leading the charge!

Last year was very odd – extremely wet in winter, a soggy start to spring, and suddenly hot and dry in late spring. That meant that the Sarracenia flava came and went in a matter of a week or two – the spring flies (mostly hoverflies) that make up the bulk of the prey came in one big burst before it got too dry, and everything got pitcher burn within a few days. The dry that quickly followed saw the flava go straight to phyllode production (althought I’m sure that the repotting did not help). The photos I posted to the blog last November were really all I took – I found myself away with work right when everything was looking its best, and came home to burned off plants. So there ended any motivation to do much with them except grit my teeth, water them and hope they would do better next year. And to add insult to injury, we didn’t move – which was the reason I pulled the bog gardens apart to begin with.

Sarracenia leucophylla autumn pitchers

What did do surprising well – at least to my surprise (and I have to wonder what I did wrong previously – impatience maybe?) – were the S. leucophylla I got from Owen last year.

White topped pitcher plants (Sarracenia leucophylla) with extra frosting on top!

Their autumn pitchers were very impressive and lasted well into winter – see above for one with extra frosting on top.

Sarracenia leucophylla autumn pitchers

I’m hoping to cross pollinate what I have (and acquire a few more clones – Triffid Park open day anyone?) to see what I can breed up. Here’s a few more pitcher pictures from last autumn:

Sarracenia leucophylla autumn pitchers

Nice looking group here…

Sarracenia leucophylla "Pink English"

This one is a favourite - Carol and Ian English's pink variant. Very beautiful!

Sarracenia leucophylla autumn pitchers

Maybe it needs to be crossed with FRT 1-1? Hmmm...

Sarracenia leucophylla "Pink English" with meadow argus butterfly (Junonia villida calybe)

Like all leucos, its a pig when it comes to catching butterflies (Nymphalids and Pierids in particular) - I shooed this Meadow Argus (Junonia villida calybe) away before it could be caught.

Sarracenia leucophylla autumn pitcher

This is another fave - its a plant Owen hopes to name at some stage (just like I should put a name on FRT 1-1). I won't give away what its called, but in Owen's words, its after a very famour musician who is "tall and white"!

Sarracenia leucophylla autumn pitchers

I do like leucos with large white windows on the hood.

Sarracenia leucophylla autumn pitchers

And another mixed group to close.

Well, that's it for now. I'll do my best to not be so slack this year with posting…