It’s been a long cold winter for the Pitcher Plants, but they’re finally ready to come out for spring.
These are spectacular, even if they don’t have a lot of pitchers – big and blooming too. Very distinctive. Great form! I give them a 9.6.
Sarracenia purpurea, not sure the subspecies, but they are full and very veiny. A bit more common than the flavas, but not as subtle. 8.7 is all they can garner from my scoring machine. Maybe I should revisit the point system and the computer algorithm.
i picked up a Sarracenia purpurea while i was there a few weeks ago, and was wondering if you guys had more information about the plant [subspecies/origin]?
thanks for your time!
The plant is from the east coast, and is quite cold hardy even surviving up into Canada. As far as we know, the plants we sell are not a subspecies; we get them from a grower back East.
The pitchers create a digestive enzyme in the base that digests the prey, and the neck of the pitchers are lined with hairs that keep the flies and such from climbing back out. Over time the digestive juices are replaced in older pitchers by bacteria and protozoa that digest the prey and make the nutrients available to the plants.
Here is an awesome botanical illustration from a long long time ago.
Oldest known picture of Sarracenia purpurea, from Clusius’ “Rariorum plantarum historia”, cf. 18, 1601
And in habitat in North Carolina.
1985. Horse Cove bog, near Highlands, Macon County, North Carolina, United States
Sturgis McKeever, Georgia Southern University
Dame Helen Mirren is presented with a nepenthes cultivar (a new variety of the carnivorous pitcher plant), Nepenthes ‘Helen’ named in her honour. Doesn’t she look pleased?
Blogs that caught my eye today include:
Bamboo and More is quietly enjoying the rainy weather through a lens.
The Pitcher Plant Project also has some new carnivorous pitchers growing, but these are the other type of Pitcher Plant, the Sarracenias.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day we’re finally bringing out some new Sarracenias.
And the Pinguiculas are blooming too.
Now you know? You do! You do know!
The Pitcher Plant Project has some great photos of Sarracenias by moonlight.
We were not having a lot of success with our pitcher plants this year so Hap tested the water. In the past, EBMUD’s water was nicely neutral, but this year it has become a lot more alkaline so we’ve had to start correcting the water.
Everyone recommends distilled water for carnivorous plants, and we agree.
But we’re using a teaspoon of vinegar in a gallon of regular water at the nursery since it’s cheaper. And at home we’re using our refrigerated drinking water – we put lemon slices in the water and that works too!
Nepenthes alata growing a new baby pitcher, finally. It’s only about an inch right now, but it will eventually get to 12″.
A remarkable relationship between a shrew and a Montane Pitcher, from the Guardian.
The Yale Daily News has an article about some stolen cactus from the botanic garden, and some other stuff too – it’s a long article – but this is what caught my interest.
Marsh Botanic Garden manager Eric Larson examines ripening bananas in one of the Garden’s greenhouses. Sean Fraga/Contributing Photographer
I may not know all the banana species you might find at a botanic garden in Connecticut, but I know a carnivorous Nepenthes pitcher plant species when I see one. In case you were thinking that maybe he’s reaching for a banana behind the nepenthes, click the photo for the giant version, and you can see he’s actually holding one of the pitchers of the pitcher plant.
That was fun! But wait! That’s not all the fail we have at Yale today. To the article!
Eric Larson, the manager of the Garden, said the stolen cacti were among the most valuable plants in the Garden’s collection. Eight of the plants were of the genus conophytum — quarter-sized clusters of cacti — and were located in one small tray, he said.
And there we have the classic conflation of cacti and succulents. Conophytums are in the Aizoaceae family, formerly of the Mesembryanthemaceae family, also known as “Mesembs” like the Ice Plant and Lithops, or Living Stones; but definitely not the Cactus (Cactaceaa) family. Conophytums are from South Africa, as opposed to Cacti that are from the Americas. Wow, that was geeky.
Normally, I wouldn’t bother to correct some student journalists getting some basic facts wrong, because who cares really, but it was the photo of the “Bananas” that got my attention, and so once I got started I couldn’t be stopped. Until now…
I got a venus fly trap a while ago from you guys, but it hasn’t rained here in the bay area for a while, and I’m really tired of driving to a super market paying 50 cents per gallon of distilled/ RO water. Do you have any tips for saving water? Does adding long fibered sphagnum moss work?
We find that East Bay MUD Water is PH neutral enough to use with our carnivores… as long as we add a pinch of grape pomace to the pot every now and then… Vinegar at about a teaspoon to a gallon of water is also said to work, but I have not tried it on carnivores, just acid loving orchids.
And for those who were wondering where you can get this special MUD water that Hap mentions, it stands for Municipal Utility District. In other words, it comes out of our faucets, but not yours.
Here we have a fine example of a sundew from Australia. It’s practically nature’s flypaper. Sticky and attractive to flies, it digests the insects right out in the open for all to see.
I especially like the new fronds unfurling.
And those are bloom stalks, but the flowers were too tiny for me to catch on film.
Previously in our saga, the Venus Fly Trap caught a slug. And it was good. Apparently very good. Delicious even, because the slug seems to have died and become dessicated and mostly consumed by the plant.
It’s not as disgusting as the previous photo, but it’s entertaining in its own right.
Just try not to look closely. Examine how much more there is for the plant to consume….
If you like, I can post a bigger version of this, even more closeup. Or would that just be piling on?
[update: Link to our Carnivorous Plant Care instructions]