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Found 10 results

  1. On my recent holiday in Cyprus, I managed to find the only species of Carnivorous plant on the island! - Pinguicula crystallina. Unfortunately they were in a hard to reach place and they are strictly protected, so no collecting of seed. Here's the habitat shot - Caledonia falls in the troodos mountains, Cyprus. I had previously read that they were near the water (obviously) in an otherwise very hot and arid island, but had almost given up on finding them whilst walking alongside the river. Whilst taking shots of the Caledonia falls themselves, I noticed something bright green behind the water... sure enough, there they were, clinging to the rock face behind the waterfall (about halfway up)! Lovely to see some in flower as well. (Excuse the slight blurriness - this was a hand-held telephoto shot in dappled shade)
  2. First off, for those of you not familiar with this variant, S. flava 'extreme red throat' is an unofficial, fictitious name to describe a plant that has more red in the throat than the average S. flava var. rugelii. Some would call this plant a rugelii, while others may call it an ornata. I think neither best describes these plants because some of the pitchers don't have veins, some are a bit reddish, and others are rather green. For those of you who want to see "the plant that started this whole thing" here's "the type specimen": http://sarracenia.proboards.com/thread/229/flava-killer-new-pics-added We suspect all of these extreme red throat variants are the result of hybridization and mixing with different species, and then back-crossing. what are the exact ingredients? Maybe a dash of S. flava var. rubricorpora, and a glug of rugelii, or maybe a selfed rubricorpora x rugelii that has a rubricorpora phenotype. Alternately, there may be a moorei here and there that has an extreme red thoat, and then it back-crosses with rugelii to create a "pure" looking plant with an extreme red throat. In the case of the Bay Co, FL plants, it's likely that these extreme red throated plants resulted from mixing with "regular" rugelii's. We did see some rubricorporas at this site that had very solid red throats, but the tricky thing is tracing nature backwards and trying to find out what crossed with what. Only in cultivation or with DNA tests can we find out exactly what's going on. There are a lot of interesting observations about this site that I will explain in detail in another post. For now, this post will focus on the extreme red throat variants. All photos were taken 8/23/14: If this isn't an extreme red throat, I don't know what is: The body on this one is almost pure red, and I wonder if it can turn solid red depending on environmental conditions. For this reason, I don't call this variant ornata: On the other hand, this one is definitely an ornata: Beautiful greenish body to contrast with the deep red: Love this one, even with the "battle wounds": This trap didn't want to cooperate: Some of them turned out "normal" in terms of the amount of red in the throat: Wanna-be extreme red throat: I think this new late summer trap came from a plant that had rubricorpora-colored pitchers on it. The waters are so muddy on nomenclature, but we can debate that in another post :) Deformed pitcher: Another "regular" rugelii, but not quite regular: Slightly out of focus, but this gives you an idea of what the whole plant looks like: And to end the post, a really cute little baby deer that didn't move even when we came really close to it. Believe me, after being shot at, I know exactly how that deer feels.
  3. The most outstanding, jaw dropping extreme red throated S. flava variants I've ever seen anywhere on this planet are from the Eastern Alabama population. We didn't get to see these plants in their prime, but you can tell based on these old pitchers that this is something extraordinary: the interior of the trap is bright red and the color extends up the lid a bit more than your regular rugelii normally does: I think this might be a different clone, but very similar idea: We also found some cut throat "leucophyllas": Hard to tell from this photo, but the lid on this one was slightly white: There were only 2-3 flavas clones in the entire population displaying this slight white top: Population size here was decent, there were a few patches like this: Some were rather gigantic: Pretty much every flava here had a beautiful red throat, although I didn't capture much of that: From left to right: Damon, Kate, and Axel amongst this beautiful patch of well-defined red throated rugeliis: A giant clone: and last but not least, a really giant yet funky looking trap:
  4. Way high up in the mountains, far away from civilization, Rob Co of the Pitcher Plant Project and I decided to go on a crazy hike in what seemed like an endless mountain range. Reaching the site requires an hour and a half drive from the closest town and a 2 mile hike in some challenging steep terrain. On the way to the site, if you drive too fast or lose control, you'll fall off a sheer cliff, so there's no room for error out there. The roads aren't labeled out here, and getting there requires a little bit of trial and error plus some luck. Before I continue this story, let me add that hiking out in these mountain ranges require being in decent physical shape...this is no roadside botanizing! For the record, I look slightly fat but am buff underneath that, LOL Rob is quite physically fit (I'd hire him as a security guard any day), and he had a hard time going up and down these mountains (although to give him credit, he was slightly sick, so that's probably what slowed him down). Because of the high elevation (this was probably around 6,000 feet (1,830 meters) above sea level, the air is slightly thinner, which makes breathing more challenging. The dangers are also a lot higher than your average roadside site. For one, if you have an emergency, it's an hour and a half drive to the nearest form of civilization. Another challenge is the seep is about 2 miles away from where you can park the car. When we packed our backpacks, we had enough food and water to last around 4-5 days just in case. We also brought basic materials for survival (waterproof clothes, warm jackets, lighters, knives, bear spray, etc). Lastly, everything out there looks the same. When you try to find your way back to the car, it's extremely confusing and disorienting. Be sure to bring someone with a very good sense of direction if you decide to hike out in the wilderness like this. While there are trails out in this breath-taking scenery, the actual seep doesn't have any official trail to it. You essentially have to climb up a mountain top, look in the distance, and try to figure out how to get there without falling off the cliff. Here's Rob Co on the way to the site: The trails out here are extremely confusing because they aren't maintained whatsoever: Some of the trails are overgrown to the point that it's hard to tell it's still there: The scenery out there is absolutely breath-taking! Notice how many of the trees are pretty much dead-this was caused by a massive fire many years ago: Everywhere you look, there's jaw-dropping views like this. Interesting how some of the most beautiful places on this planet are quite hostile: What you can't tell is how steep this mountain is. It was very difficult figuring out how to get down to the fen, which is in the distance: Can you see the cobra pitchers in the distance? Probably not possible from this photo, but you could see it in person: We caught the last flush of some azaleas in bloom. The fragrance was sweet like candy-it smelled better than it looks! But who cares about all that, here's what we came to see, Darlingtonia by the thousands! This field was quite massive and absolutely impressive: In this photo, I'm standing uphill, and water is percolating downhill. The bogs were mainly composed of decomposing tree trunks, grasses, sticks, and a peat-like substance. It sort of bounced a bit when you walked on it: There were a few ponds at this site: And the Darlingtonia grew on the edges of these ponds. Keep in mind, water was constantly moving here: Just loved this unique habitat. Notice how there appears to be oil in the water: these are natural organic oils produced from decaying plant matter(probably from tree sap if I had to guess): Some of the plants are literally growing submerged. Slightly off topic, there were deep potholes at this site, and I fell into one because it was covered by the grass. I was up to my waist in water. At the bottom was thick mud that was hard to get out of, but I clearly survived: There were mainly "regular" color variants here, but check out the shape and dark red tongues on these traps: Hard to tell from this photo, but some were gigantic: My hand for scale: But there were also some amazing color variants here as well, like this copper topped one: Extensive windows and nice colors: Outstanding color variants. Notice the top of the head on the trap in the background is brown-this is from sun burn (heat stress):
  5. D rotundifolia

    From the album Shropshire 2014

  6. peat blocks

    From the album Shropshire 2014

  7. Old peat digging

    From the album Shropshire 2014

  8. Small sphag patch

    From the album Shropshire 2014

  9. In mid of August we made a trip to the Maggia valley close to Ascona. As we could not decide where to stop, we drove to the end of the valley and arrived at an artificial lake at about 1500m a.s.l..There we found the road continuing a lot further. After some more driving we arrived at a beautiful mountain lake at 2050 m a.s.l.. Some divers there told us, that this small lake is up to 40 m deep. On the south facing shore, we found some Pinguicula growing between the grass. As I am not an Pinguicula expert, I would be happy if someone could ID them. Beside the Pinguicula there were a lot of other non carnivorous plants, which attracted our attention. And a young frog A few meters off the lake we found some Pinguicula, which were still in flower. It seems that they were flooded and cooled by a small mountain brook, which was larger before. On the way down again we found a wonderful population of Drosera rotundifolia and Pinguicula growing beside a small waterfall. The wall, on which the plants were growing, was on one side of the small street. I spotted them by just driving by due to the intense red and light green colors of the plants. More pictures of this trip can be found on my webpage michaelscarnivores.com.
  10. Hi, directly after arriving in Cape Town we wanted to do a short afternoon walk and decided to go to the Signal Hill with the close by Lion's Head. Hallo, There were no clouds at all, so we could enjoy spectacular views down to Cape Town and the Table Mountains. The temperature were around 30°C, a really nice day! You will have to pass some ladders to reach the top. Besides many interesting plants, you can also find some nice animals there. At the point that we needed to go back (it was already late afternoon) we found the first carnivorous plants of our tour! It was Drosera trinervia, most likely the most widespread species of the Western Cape: The way back was a bit adventurous. We had no problem to return from the Lion's Head, but we could not find a good way to walk down from Signal Hill to Sea Point, so we decided to go straight down (which is for sure not the best option for some parts of the Signal Hill). We finally arrived in Sea Point only to find out, that we had no idea where exactly we were, so we asked somebody to call a Taxi for us to get back to our hotel. We arrived there at 19pm. Luckily the lady at the hotel was kind enough to take our rental car, which was arranged for 18pm that day. We were totally tired that evening (a 15hrs flight + 5hrs walk), so we went to eat something and went sleeping soon after. regards, Christian