Chimaera

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Chimaera last won the day on May 16

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  1. Chimaera

    Sarracenia descriptions

    Thanks for that. That is great information; I would just love sellers to add some of that.
  2. Chimaera

    Sarracenia descriptions

    As someone new to growing carnivores (during this year I have gone from having 2 to about 30 Sarracenia), I have found that a lot of nurseries give pretty vague descriptions that make choosing plants less easy. Whilst there are usually great photos of the pitchers, there is often no more than a very general idea of the size of the plant and little or nothing on growth form and flowers. I would particularly like to know if a plant (in the year of purchase at least) is likely to have 2 pitchers or a large clump of pitchers of various sizes; the former would be good as part of a large collection but the latter would be far better as a single specimen or houseplant. Likewise, the ease of flowering, colour and smell may be important if you only have a couple of specimens. Indeed I think some sales may be lost because of this; for example some rubra-group clones have rather unexciting pitchers when seen individually, but form an attractive and vigorous clump with lovely flowers. I would like to see not just the photo of a pitcher, but also one of a typical plant (maybe in mid summer of year of purchase) and flower, along with mention of the typical height and vigour of the plant. If pitchers change colour or size through the season, that would also be useful; I had a couple where the early pitchers are rather dull and I was initially quite disappointed, and only later did attractive ones appear. This is not just an issue with CP nurseries; I have found people selling orchids and unusual vegetables do the same.
  3. Chimaera

    Greedy pitchers dying off

    Thanks I'm happy to put up with ugly pitchers now in return for well fertilised growth in Spring. Interestingly the only tall pitchers that do not seem to show this are the S. flavas. Maybe this is luck or maybe they naturally grow in areas with more flies.
  4. Chimaera

    Greedy pitchers dying off

    A large number of the more slender Sarracenia pitchers in the greenhouse have got very full of dead insects and a dark brown band has formed round the pitcher where there are lots of insects. In some, the pitcher above this is dying and going brown.There have been a lot of flies this year (greenhouse backs onto a shady alley full of fox poo) and I have had the door open because of the heat. I assume this happens and is something you put up with, cutting off dead bits, but if there is anything I can do I would like to know. In some slender hybrids, most of the pitchers are damaged to some degree so I am reluctant to cut back too much.
  5. Chimaera

    Where's my rain?

    If you look at a geology map of the Peaks you will see 2 main rock types; the Dark Peak is made of Millstone Grit- this is sandstone and shales with virtually no carbonate or other solubles in them, so runoff into the reservoirs with be low TDS and probably rather acidic. In the White Peak you have Carboniferous Limestone, a totally different beast made of soluble calcium carbonate so runoff and aquifers there will have a really high TDS and probably be alkaline. All those caves are the result of water dissolving this limestone, so as caves are made the material goes into the water.
  6. Not found that (yet). I added a few to a talk on evolution I do for a local school and the kids loved it, and auctioned (for the school) a small starter collection and the bids went up to £45, so clearly popular here
  7. Chimaera

    Inspire Me!

    I was in a similar situation a year ago and have gone from 4 types then to about 30 now. I got really interested in the many shapes (especially) and colours of Sarracenia pitchers and started trying to get one at least of each main morphology- flask-like (pursuer and hybrids), small and hooked, clump forming trumpets , tall trumpets, and added a couple of different vft colour forms and some different Drosera growth forms (rosette forming, clumping (capensis etc), forked (binata). I also have some of the native species of Drosera and Pings with the idea that these should be easy to keep.
  8. Chimaera

    Where's my rain?

    Nothing in the SE; 20% chance tomorrow and 40% on Thursday....
  9. Chimaera

    Where's my rain?

    Latest image from NASA. No cloud over land, but smoke from fires. The plankton are loving it though!
  10. Chimaera

    Where's my rain?

    Thanks a lot, I'm looking into options.
  11. Chimaera

    Where's my rain?

    Anyone with suggestions for a low price, simple RO unit that can easily be attached to a hose? I am using about 2-3 litres of water a day (I only have 6 seed tray size water baths) so only need a low quantity, so price and simplicity is key. Went to "borrow" some distilled water from work and some bugger had broken the chamber of the distiller and not told anyone, so that isn't working now.
  12. Chimaera

    Where's my rain?

    Interesting. So the theory is not matched by the results. It may be that your water contains sulphate which is not removed by boiling. I think at least some water softeners replace calcium with sodium; it may be that if you boiled in a kettle with limescale in it you reversed the reaction, with the addition of losing some water. My chemistry is not up to thinking why.
  13. Chimaera

    We all love free seedlings

    Thanks. They are all such lovely little plants. And the Drosera are growing surprisingly fast; the largest have gone from 5mm to 15mm diameter in a couple of weeks. I gather you treat Utricularia a bit like moss; let it fill the surface of pots of other plants and appreciate it.
  14. Chimaera

    Where's my rain?

    The theory is that most things dissolved in water get concentrated as you boil water off, but bicarbonate is different; you drive off CO2 which is less soluble in hot water and the bicarbonate ions that were associated with it then bond with any calcium present and precipitate out as limestone, so TDS drops until you run out of calcium or CO2 levels reach that soluble in boiling water. If water has magnesium in it (there should be a lot in NE England), this does not bond with bicarbonate the same as calcium and precipitation is different. On various brewing websites the chemistry is explained far better than I can.
  15. Chimaera

    Where's my rain?

    I have been trying to work out if boiling water to precipitate carbonate will reduce TDS sufficiently. Hs anyone with a TDS meter done the experiment? It appears that if there is enough calcium in solution (as should be the case in a limestone/chalk aquifer, as in most of SE England) it should be possible to get bicarbonate down to 80 TDS, at which point atmospheric CO2 levels prevent it going lower. So by this, boiling water and letting the carbonate precipitate out would work for water for the short term at least. Does anyone know if this is true or not?