Chimaera

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Everything posted by Chimaera

  1. I may be going back later in the year; I'd like to try to get seeds but can't find information on the legality of collecting seeds of common wild plants. The Drosera look more compact and red than the variety I have at home.
  2. I know that these are the commonest CPs going and everyone has seen them before, but this is the first time I have looked closely at these since growing CPs, and I recon I have learnt a lot. I was here for the geology, not the plants and only encountered D. rotundifolia and P. vulgaris but their occurrences interested me. There were almost none of either in bogs along streams or around larger ponds- I think these had too much sheep dung input and so too high in nutrients as they were filled with other bog plants. Most were in small bogs in depressions surrounded by rocks with very little stream input. The Drosera were almost all growing on Sphagnum or rarely other mosses I saw none on pare peat. It seems there were more in the lower, wetter parts but bigger plants were slightly higher and drier. I saw no Pings growing on Sphagnum and most were on bare peat, the exceptions were on a quarry wall where some were growing on non-Sphagnum mosses or onto almost bare rock.
  3. Rain is expensive stuff! Another storm front goes by, last night another 1mm or rain- less than evaporated yesterday
  4. I have done the stupid thing of assuming that there would be a decent amount of rain in Spring and not bothering yet to store any water other than what is on the water butt. The butt is now a third empty (starting a mini bog used a lot of water) and yet another supposedly rain laden front passes by with not enough rain to wet the ground. I would guess in North London we have had 3mm of rain in the last 8 weeks- not exactly April Showers.This is not a problem unless this passes into another Summer like last year and then my water will not last long.
  5. I am not sure if this is the right place to mention this, but i saw this eBay listing for a greenhouse and a collection of Cps: I would love it myself but do not have space or live near Wales.
  6. Thanks. At the moment I am not organised enough to be thinking far enough ahead for F2 crosses, I think I will stick to ancho x ancho for now (assuming flowering coincides). Interesting about flava colouration. I guess the best thing is to try it an see what happens.
  7. Last year I had an experiment at cross pollenating Sarracenia (leucophylla-based hybrid x purourea and leucophylla-based hybrid x complex hybrid) as an experiment and although the latter cross only gave me a tiny number of seeds, I have a 90% germination rate of both crosses so am feeling pretty pleased. There are buds forming on a variety of forms and I would like to have a proper go at crossing but have a few questions to help choosing what to do: I assume anthocyanin absence is a double recessive gene and so there is no point crossing an AF plant with one that is not AF if I want any AF offspring. Is this correct? There are a number of rubra group /alata X purpurea group hybrids for sale that are larger and fatter than either parent. Is this normal for a cross of this type, or are these large forms exceptional and unusual? If I crossed 2 different colour forms of S. flava (e.g. ornata x rubricopora) would the offspring be one colour form or the other (i.e. colour genetics simple) or would they be intermediate? I have read that self pollination does not work very well and gives a low viability. Is this true? Thanks
  8. Thanks for that.I would like to give them a go. I am wondering if it is the northern (rainforest) populations that are in circulation; when I saw them in the wild it was Spring (Sept) and nights were well below 20 and it was not at all humid with strong sea breezes..
  9. It's been hitting 20 degree in my greenhouse this week, even with the door open, and a couple pf Sarracenia have buds, with many others having the growing tip swelling and ready to release buds or pitchers, meanwhile many still have perfect pitchers on them from last year. Several Drosera are breaking dormancy as well. Planted up a mini-bog at the weekend- I wanted to wait till I have trimmed off the old pitchers but clearly new growth is coming before the old has fully died.
  10. I have a soft spot for N. madagascarensis, as it is the only pitcherplant I have seen in the wild (I did some work in Madagascar 20 years ago) and would like to know if it would be realistic to grow it as a windowsill plant without terraria etc. alongside highland Nepenthes that seem to do OK. Firstly it seems to be difficult to obtain in the UK. Also reading online there seems to be a lot of disagreement about it. I have seen it said to need lowland conditions, low light and be difficult, others that it grows in highland conditions, in full light and is easy. Where I saw it, in the south of the island, it was growing on a partly flooded sandy savannah (more what I would imagine to be 'classic' Sarracenia environment) with no shade and, although in the tropics, it was decidedly chilly at night due to cool sea breezes (altitude of about 1 metre above sea level). Apparently it also grows further north in proper rainforest conditions. Could the contradictions about growing it be due to some plants being from the hot, shaded north and others from the cooler, sunny south? Does anyone have experience of this species in the conditions that would be met as a houseplant?
  11. They are amazing; I didn't even know you could do that.
  12. Those are really impressive plants. As for why would a species that evolved in a subtropical climate should be able to survive this level of cold is another story..
  13. I thought tracking them down would be pretty much impossible.
  14. In my very limited experience, the advantages of buying now are: You scratch that itch, you get to see the first pitchers forming, nurseries will have plants ready to go so no waiting and waiting a few weeks: It is a bit warmer and you do not get quite so cold playing with wet compost, any danger of plants getting fungal disease is over, and a lot of people are dividing their plants, so there is a bigger range of material for sale here and on online auctions
  15. As someone who decided this time last year that I wanted to get a few CPs for the (unheated) greenhouse (I intended to get maybe half a dozen plants, I now have 60 a year later!) I know the problem. If you buy from a proper grower (nursery or seller here), flytraps, Sarracenia and any temperate sundews will be dormant and you will be staring at an active and boring plant for the next 2 months before they burst into life. Some garden centres may have some of these that look nice and growing. Avoid them; these have not been allowed to go dormant and the stress of putting them into a 'normal' season may kill them or stunt them. Other sundews (like the Cape or Alice sundew) will be growing, albeit slowly, as will Nepenthes. With Nepenthes especially, I would not trust the postal system to be uniformly warm this time of year, and a night in a warehouse at -2 will kill them. If you want to save a bit of money, you can buy ready made compost suitable for the Sarracenia'VFT/sundews and buy the plants bare rooted and pot them yourself. Look on here and online auctions and you can get dormant Sarracenia at great prices (but check they are adult plants and not seedlings). You can do that now or wait till March-April.
  16. I am a sucker for the 'half price half dead' section at the garden centre and have acquired a couple of quite nice Sarracenia from that section of my local Homebase (including a huge one reduced from £35 to £2.50- one grow point was rescuable but that is doing well). The problem is putting names to them. Does anyone know which wholesalers tend to supply cheap bulk CPs in this country so I can check the ID? Many seem to be from Carniflora, the bright plastic label with a fly on it being a give away, and the plants match well to the website. Others do not match, including a couple of S. leucophylla based forms that are clearly not true species. These seem to match varieties on the Araflora website (S. x leucophylla "Big Daddy". S. x leucophylla "Royal Redwhite" (the latter is the giant one I rescued; both have a curious 'pinched' lid like that of S. catesbaei which I assume in in their ancestry) as well as what looks like Dionaea "jumbo"). Is Araflora (or a supplier linked to them) a likely source? I know if I bought only from reputable sources i would not have this problem, and most of my collection is from proper growers, but I am a cheapskate and can't resist it.
  17. Very clever idea. But I can see myself walking into it.
  18. They may be pharaoh ants; these are tiny (2mm) and yellowish brown. They can be a major pest in some indoor sites such as hospitals.
  19. Who knows, not least the people we pay to sort this out for us. At the very least it is likely that CITES listed forms will not be able to be traded without difficult and expensive permits. As this will include all Sarracenia and Nepenthes species, there will be a problem. (I often send CITES listed fish and shark material between museums and this will be a real pain for me). Although this is the least of our worries......
  20. I would think the main problem is that house plants are not fashionable and many people are not willing or able to put in the effort to look after all but the most indestructible. There are 2 excellent garden centres near me in N London who offer really good ranges of outdoor plants but with very poor ranges of indoor stuff; maybe a third small cacti (unnamed), a third showy orchids and a third 'large green' plants. There is sometimes a tray of mixed small carnivores. all looking very sad. This is pretty much the same range as local DIY shops sell for half the price. Cacti and those types of orchids are almost 'decorations' and can be used for a few months in an unsuitable room and them replaced; maybe that is where houseplants are going. On the other hand there is a local company doing small succulents as decor pieces, with nice, hand made pots and charging an arm and a leg for them, but again these are plants that can survive for some time without being treated as plants but instead are exclusive decor items. My local Homebase gets an even worse set of houseplants, but does often have a range of rather unexciting carnivores, so I keep a look out for the 'half price half dead' section and have snapped up some half decent Sarracenia there (In the Summer I got a very large S. leucophylla hybrid of some type reduced from £35 to £2.99 and have managed to rescue the largest of the 4 grow points and it now looks very nice.
  21. 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.
  22. 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
  23. 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.