The Sarracenia flava have hit their peak of flowers for this year, and they look spectacular! Here’s some blooms from assorted plants:
These photos are actually showing the collection past its peak (25 October), as some petals were already starting to fall. As luck would have it, I was away with work when the peak came (I suspect Tuesday was the actual peak).
As a small consolation, I managed to find nice populations of Drosera burmannii and Utricularia australis where I was near Newcastle, NSW. Incidentally, the plants of D. burmannii I brought from an AUSCPS member last year self-sowed enough seed that I should have a lovely carpet of them shortly in the VFT pot.
Speaking of which, the VFT collection has also done well and is emerging from dormancy. I’ve been busy nipping flower stalks off – I’ve never managed to get seed to set from my flytraps. Some Drosera pulchella gemmae I got off ebay Australia have also produced a goodly number of plants that are getting bigger, and each week I find a couple more between the flytraps. I’ll get the macro lens out and get some close-up shots of them soon.
Yesterday, I got in and pollinated as many S. flava flowers as I could. I selfed most things, but made a few strategic crosses. One was between two very nice S. flava var. cuprea clones, one from Gotcha! Plants and another from a local grower, Ross Rowe.
The other was a forward and reverse cross between S. flava var. atropurpurea from Blackwater State Forest, Florida (this is the first year that clone has flowered for me) and the atropurpurea clones FRT 1-1 and FRT 1-5. Here’s a photo of the Blackwater SF clone’s flower:
One thing that I haven’t seen before this year is the honeybees taking an interest in the flowers. They seem to be efficient pollinators, as they enter the flowers via the stigma and thoroughly dusted in pollen. The below bee is not so covered, as she is a little de-fuzzed (setulae rubbed from the scutum) and probably did not pick up any pollen from the stamens as a result. Hopefully, they haven’t messed up my crosses…
The first pitchers have opened too, with S. flava var. maxima from Honeysuckle Road, Harleyville, NC beating out a pot of S. flava var. atropurpurea by a few days.