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meizwang last won the day on May 9 2017

meizwang had the most liked content!

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    Bay Area, California
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    Sarracenia, disas, fruit trees, vegetables, south african bulbs, cacti...horticulture.

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  1. Thank you, and I agree! Now that the color is there, the next step is getting some better shapes. Who knows, maybe we'll eventually have giant, flava shaped black sarracenia! It would be also pretty incredible to have a black bodied, white topped plant. Often times, when breeding, what you think you'll make drastically differs from what you actually end up making. That isn't necessarily a bad thing though, as the hybrids sometimes go beyond your expectations. This is certainly the beginning. It took a while and a lot of trials to get a truly black Sarracenia like the one pictured above, but now that we're there, the door to create even more impressive hybrids has opened.
  2. Black Sarracenia have been in the cross hairs of breeders for a long time now, but few have succeeded in creating such a beast. Granted, there are a few Sarracenia out there that do turn black with an "artificial suntan" aka when greenhouse grown, but has anyone made a plant that turns black from head to toe without the need of a greenhouse? It's definitely not easy to make such a plant, the reason being that most of the black clones/genetics in cultivation are difficult to coax that color out of them. They really need the exact right conditions to darken up! Sure, they will get black when grown under powerful lights indoors or under greenhouse conditions, but outdoors, they merely get dark. Here's a good example of a black alata that gets dark under my outdoor conditions, but not black. This is S. alata dark 'upward lid' Stone Co, MS: In the wild, they definitely can get pretty dark as the traps age, but you don't see such a high frequency of dark alatas in cultivation. As an aside, I've bred with many "proven" black alata clones only to find the offpsring are generally not as impressive. Some selfed plants (ie. selfed alata 'Night') looked quite impressive greenhouse grown, but they still don't color up easily outdoors. Anyways, the pics below are from wild plants growing in Stone Co, MS: Previously, the closest thing I've personally grown that gets really dark without a greenhouse suntan is Phil's Faulisi's Black Widow: Honorable mention shout out to Rob Sacilotto's S. 'Tornado'(aka S. 'Vortex') There are also pictures online of some black flava x alata crosses made by, but since the pictures are clearly copyrighted, I'm not going to copy them in this thread. That hybrid appears to have a very black head, but the body is dark red. I'm very confident these were greenhouse grown plants, and they appear to be as dark as some of the black alatas grown under greenhouse conditions. For those of us without greenhouses, are there any individual plants out there that turn black even under outdoor conditions? I'm not aware of any non-man made plants like that. Logically, there has to be a way to make a completely black plant from head to toe using flava rubricorpora and the dark alatas, so that's what I did. Black widow is really cool, but I want blacker! LOL I made several small batch crosses with many different clones in search of that black individual. By small batch, I mean I sowed between 30-50 or so seeds per batch. Surprisingly, most were duds: while the plants were pretty and many were bright red, none were black, so I tossed every last cross out. In one cross, I did get a few darker indivduals, but not darker than black widow. GAH!!!! Phil either got lucky or did a lot of pheno hunting to find black widow. Anyways, Next thought was, what if I grew out over a 1000 seeds, will that one black individual appear? Those black genes have to be there somewhere, maybe it's just a numbers game. But it's not practical to grow out 1000 of each cross, that could take up a lot of space very quickly and become impractical. I decided to focus on one cross that had dark individuals and re-made it the following year, producing an enormous seed batch. If a few dark ones showed up in 50 seeds or less, will that one black one show up in 1000? It was a ridiculous amount of work transplanting seedlings and culling lighter colored individuals. No, I didn't grow them all the way out (don't have space and time for that), I did massive cullings and selected out the darkest ones. With a combination of an educated guess and the power of numbers, I finally found that one individual that I was looking for! Interestingly, NOT A SINGLE OTHER PLANT in the super sized seedling batch was as dark as this individual! There were some that I suspect could probably get blacker with an artificial suntan, but I was looking for the one that gets black under multiple environmental conditions. There were other individuals that came close in terms of blackness, but I culled them to make sure imposters don't go into circulation. Speaking of imposters, this is the reason that I'm not giving out exact details about the clones used in this cross, but in general, flava rubricorpora and alata were used, just like in Phil's black widow cross. Perhaps the beans are being spilled quite early as this plant is still a seedling, but after you see the pics below, you'll probably agree that this individual is already outstanding. In case you haven't already read this thread about seedling selection and want to dig deeper, I recommend reading this: This un-named clone below doesn't start off black: the traps really have to age before it gets to this color. This plant was naturally grown outdoors in Northern California, and quite possibly represents one of the first of its kind that can get black from head to toe without an artificial greenhouse suntan: In case you want to zoom in to see the details of the pic above:[email protected]/39714739103/in/dateposted/ and if you want to zoom in:[email protected]/31737863587/in/photostream/ The whole dang thing is black: Another shot: notice some of the younger, smaller traps still have some greenish pigments on the lid: In case you want a close up of that last pic:[email protected]/45954892134/in/photostream/ This is still a seedling, so again, I may be spilling the beans a bit early about it. For this reason, it won't be named or go into circulation until it reaches vegetative maturity and has been throughly "explored." Who knows, something better might turn up in the meantime. To be continued....
  3. Ellie Wang seems to color up much easier, produces a deeper red color on the body, and the shape of the lid is more symmetrical/matching to the shape of the trap overall. I like how the lid is more circular compared to the oval and waviness of Elaine Wang, although it's totally understandable that others may prefer the look of Elaine Wang.
  4. thanks everyone! It's tempting to tell everyone how this was made, but for the sake of preventing imposter clones from being produced, the cross will remain a trade secret. It hasn't yet been registered, this was the first year it flowered, and I'm still not positive how tall it can get. So far, it's grown to about 46cm, but I suspect it can get taller. The plant is only 3 years old, it's still in the experimental stage.
  5. S. 'Ellie Wang' is one of the most unbelievable plants I've ever seen, photos taken 5/5/17:
  6. This is an old topic, but thought I'd chime in. There are some species or varieties of sphagnum that produce smaller "strands" but in general, the stronger the light you give them, the denser the fibers grow. If the moss you're growing produces relatively "small heads" even in full sun, it's not an ideal strain to grow if you plan on using it as a potting medium. This is because these smaller heads tend to have thinner "stems" which are less fibrous than the strains or species that produce large heads. Less fibrous means less dense cellulose, which translates weaker strands that break down quickly. I've grown a single strain both in part sun/afternoon shade and compared it to the same exact strain grown in full sun:there is a drastic difference in quality. In general, when used as a medium, dried, shade grown sphagnum breaks down quicker and doesn't last as long as full-sun grown sphagnum. I'll also add that when sphagnum moss is grown in full sun and is grown very slowly, it's higher quality (ie. produces denser fibers) than the same moss in the same conditions grown very quickly. There might be "strains" of sphagnum that can be produced quickly and still end up with dense, high quality substrate, but my experience is limited to maybe 3 or 4 different strains total.
  7. Red variants of S. leucophylla from Washington County Alabama are almost unheard of and are extremely rare, but they do exist. To recap, I suspect the red pigments in S. leucophylla originated from hybridizing with other species and then back-crossing with lecuophylla several generations to the point that you can't tell it was originally of hybrid origin. In Santa Rosa and okaloosa Co, FL leucophylla crossed mainly with flavas and roseas to get the red pigments. On the other hand, I suspect the washington Co, AL leucophyllas crossed with alata and rubra wherryi to get these red pigments! This makes them very genetically unique. Normally, the red pigments are found concentrated below the white on the petiole, which gives a strong contrasting look (ie. red plants from Walton Co, FL, Franklin Co, FL, Okaloosa Co, FL, Covington Co, AL variants). In some cases, the whole pitcher becomes reddish as the trap ages. On the other hand, freshly opened pitchers on the Washington Co, AL have red that is suffused with the white and just below the white pigments on the petiole! If I had to guess, rubra wherryi is the reason you see this difference. Photos taken 10/5/16: This thing has a really FAT lip too, almost looks kinda like a nepenthes peristome without the "lines": The kink in the trap is environmental: The spring traps were much redder, but I think I transplanted it in early summer so the adjustment caused this plant to not be as red. it'll be interesting to see what the traps look like next spring.
  8. Can't speak for sky high prices, but commerce drives the spread of plants. If sellers aren't rewarded for their sale, there's less incentive to get their product out into circulation. Less reward=less incentive and higher reward=higher incentive.
  9. some updates, photos taken 9/5/16 and a couple of days later: Some eastern Al individuals: This pic below was taken on Sept. 12th, traps have really filled in:
  10. Interestingly enough, for about 12 year straight, we had close to zero signs of powdery mildew. In the past 5 years, it shows up year after year, although some years it's not too bad. I thought I did something wrong, but turns out california Carnivores experienced the exact same thing, so we think it has to do with the weather. With regards to spraying for insects, we definitely have to spray for them 2-3 times per year. Again, about 5 years ago, I never sprayed. I prefer to clip off all of the pitchers during the winter and then wait a few weeks to let all the natural enemies (mostly birds, but other animals) pick at all the insects that were protected by all the dense growth. After the feeding frenzy is done, I then do a nice sprench on all of the plants (drench the rhizomes in insecticide). Once the traps fully emerge in the spring, I then use a systemic to get the thrips or anything new that may have shown up, and then one last application to ensure any eggs that hatched during the meantime get hit. For the rest of the season, the plants are in good shape and need no more applications until the following year. The downside to clipping off all the pitchers during the winter is having smaller spring pitchers, but the upside to it is that you drastically reduce powdery mildew and you also expose all the nasty insects that would otherwise be protected by thick vegetation.
  11. Thank you Stu! The traps have finally mostly opened up, not sure you can tell much of a difference compared to previous photos, but this is the absolute best they've ever been. Photos taken 9/12/16 and a few days ago: Let's start with some crazy amazing clone F traps: Here's a fat trap of clone A: Bigger trap to the left, foreground is clone E: Another really white clone E trap:
  12. Hi Ada, We have it all: thrips, slugs, snails, aphids, etc. They really hit us bad in the late spring and early summer when all the native vegetation dies off. The insects swarm my plants because that's all that's left. Also, California has a drastically different climate than where Sarracenias originate: the Southeastern US is a semi-tropical climate, and I'm in a mediterranean climate. Ironically, our climate here in California is probably better than the climate in the wild, at least in terms of growing Sarracenia. Anyhow, at this time of the year here in California, native insect pests are less of an issue. It's been warm and dry all summer long, and aphids, etc. thrive when it's cooler and moist aka when lots of plants are green. Much of the native vegetation here this time of year is yellow, dead, and dry.
  13. Leucophylla dominant moorei hybrids seem to be a very intriguing group of plants, and this clone is no exception! S. x moorei 'Bouquet' looks totally like a pure leucophylla, except it has some outstanding red coloration mixed into it! The underside of the lid is dark red, as is the lip. There's even dark red veins that weave into the white pigments, giving it a very eye-catching contrast of bright and dark colors. This plant produces a profusion of pitchers that when clumped all together, looks like a bouquet....hence the name. Easily one of my favorite mooreis out there so far because of how eye catching it is. Note to all you out there trying to impress your significant other with plants: I would never in a 1000 years dream of making a bouquet out of this plant and giving it to my wife as a gift....she'll just say "didn't you just cut that off from the front yard?!" Sigh, no love or appreciation for how difficult it is to grow this stuff, imagine how much the plant is set back from such a harvest....maybe not the same response you'll get, but just sharing my experience :) Photos taken 9/8/16: Kinky lip: n