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Everything posted by meizwang

  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
  14. Thank you Richard! I recommend sowing in spring once it warms up, but you could start them indoors anytime of the year under lights, so long as the soil is kept warm.
  15. Lilium catesbaei has been given a bad reputation because it's been nearly impossible to acquire anywhere in the world (until now!) and even expert lily growers have had poor results growing these lilies. Here's an example from B&D lilies: Good news is, this plant is now readily available, and we got lucky on our first try and figured it out on our first try. IF you think about growing these like Carnivorous plants (which is the key to success), they're easier to grow than a venus fly trap! Perhaps others haven't had much luck with these plants because they were trying to grow them somewhat like other lilies, except slightly submerged in water. These plants HATE being submerged in any amount of water! So how do you grow these plants? From seeds, you can sow them on the surface of pure, good quality peat moss. Absolutely no treatment is required, but these seeds require light to germinate, so do not cover them! Use distilled or deionized water like you would for carnivorous plants. For best results, the soil temperature should be maintained at or close to around 27C (80F) to get uniform germination. After about 2 weeks, you'll see roots pop out from the embryo, but it can take up to a month for them to fully sprout. Watering is key to success:keep the soil as wet as possible, but NEVER waterlogged! well, there's probably exceptions to the rule, like growing them in tall pots, but if the roots rot, you can't say I didn't warn ya! The roots hate having wet feet and will rot if you keep them wet for too long. As a reminder, water quality is also key, since these plants are relatively sensitive to salts. Anyhow, maybe a month or two after germinating, you'll start to see 2-3 leaves form, and little bulbs will become visible on the surface of the soil! At this stage, you can start fertilizing. While these plants aren't as sensitive to salts in the water as carnivores in general, they're more sensitive than other lilies, and can tolerate only slightly higher salt concentrations in comparison to Sarracenia. I recommend trying 1/5 concentration of maxsea fertilizer (16-16-16) twice a month maximum. Keep in mind, it only takes one over-fertilizing application to kill the whole batch, so be conservative with the concentration and frequency of fertilizers. Here's what they look like when you can start feeding them, although if you want to be on the safe side, you can wait a little longer as these still have sufficient food in the peat and seed to grow at an optimal rate: Once you have hardened off seedlings, you can slowly acclimate them to full sun. They love as much light as you can give them, just like Sarracenia! After being grown for a full season, plants will form a bulb on the surface of the soil and it'll look like this if you kept your plants happy. Every last one of these bulbs bloomed the following year, even the small ones! At this stage, they will naturally start to go dormant, so don't worry if you see leaves yellowing and falling off. Eventually, all you will see is a bulb. If you have a community pot, this is a good time to transplant them into a bigger pot and space them out so they have room to grow for next season. Be very careful, the bulbs are very fragile and will break into pieces if you apply pressure on them. I recommend cutting the roots to ensure bulbs aren't destroyed (just leave a stub and they'll grow back strong the next year). These plants require a cool winter dormancy, and in the wild it has been as cold as -15C (5F) in recent years (edit:I just flowered a seedling after 6 months, no cool dormancy! it was probably caused by heat stress though and the flower was a freak, as it emerged from a side leaf, not the main growth point!). When they are dormant, keep the bulbs moist at all times but never water-logged! Absolutely no fertilizer too, you'll kill them. Once they come back in the spring and you see 3 or 4 new leaves, start fertilizing with the same regime as menitoned above. Around early summer, they'll start to look like this: Late summer to early fall, if the plants are going to bloom, they will start to grow upwards and form a stalk, like this: Some leaves at the bottom may start to turn yellow or purplish, don't worry about it. The plant is translocating nutrients into the flower stalk, and this is totally normal. Continue to fertilize around 2x a month maximum with the 1/5 strength fertilizer. About 2 weeks before the plants bloom, the flower bud will swell up and look like this. This is about the last time you want to fertilize until next year: If you did everything right and have multiple happy plants, you'll end up with scenes like this. They don't tend to bloom all at the same exact time, which is actually nice because the flowers only last about a week, but with staggered openings, the blooming period can last for a few weeks: Lots of flower buds here: Normally, L. catesbaei has 6 petals, but we've found some with 8, and my friend has one with 9 petals! Never documented before until now, we've managed to get 3 heads produced on a single stalk. I'm not aware of anyone ever finding this happening in nature, or in cultivation: We even found a peachy clone, really beautiful: Another shot: Some standard looking clones: I case you haven't noticed, I grow these in shallow community trays with great success. They could probably benefit from a deeper container. Anyhow, a thick layer of moss develops on the surface of the peat after a year or two of growing in the same substrate. Every winter, I scrape this off and replace it with fresh peat. As long as you originally spaced the bulbs out well, they'll keep growing into thicker and thicker clumps year after year. Other online resources suspected these plants are monocarpic (grow, bloom, and then die off) but keep them happy, and they'll continue to come back year after year: So there you have it! PM or email me with any questions you may have (address in my signature line below), or feel free to post here.
  16. Okay, it seems most of the fall pitchers here have now opened up, there's probably a couple more but now that so many traps have opened, I don't know if it's going to look much more impressive than this....but maybe it will. In any case, this is the absolute best these plants have ever done as a whole....Kinjie and I were talking about how we get tired of our own collections, but it's hard to get tired of a bed like this! Photos taken 9/6/16 and a few days ago as well: Some really white ones popped out this year if you look closely: I guess it still does have a little more filling in to do. Hopefully, this heat wave that's being predicted doesn't burn all of the tips of the leaves like it does year after year:
  17. Thanks everyone for the positive feedback! Ada-I suspect that the leucophyllas from Eastern Alabama have better cold tolerance because they may have hybridized with flava rugelii many generations back (flavas do occur with them side by side in situ). Once they became "leucophylla dominant mooreis" they flowered after the flavas, so they kept getting back-crossed with leucophylla for several generations to the point that you can't tell flava was in the mix to begin with. Now that I think about it, many of the leucophyllas from the wilkerson's bog in Northern Walton Co, FL (near the same latitude as the Eastern AL plants) also produce nice spring pitchers. Coincidentally, there are also flavas at that site as well, with many hybrids in between. To help support this back-crossing hypothesis, check out these photos: Here's a S. flava var. rugelii with a slightly white top, suggesting hybridizing generations back. Hard to tell from this photo, but the lid on this one was slightly white: Check out how skinny the neck is on this one, which suggests historic crossing with S. flava rugelii. In Northern Baldwin Co, AL, I have yet to see a single plant with a neck like this, you only find these sort of plants where flava rugelii and leucophylla live close by: Slightly off topic, but there's an outstanding bright white alba from the eastern AL population, sooo beautiful!
  18. Here's a bed of S. leucophylla Hurricane creek white from Baldwin Co, AL. The original site is about 100% altered and 99% destroyed. There aren't any outstanding clones left in the wild like we have in cultivation (well, there are nice ones still there but they don't compare), but there's still a relic patch of plants alive today, here's a link to the story: There's still a bunch of traps have yet to open, so these plants are not at their fullest potential, but they're starting to look nice! Photos taken 8/29/16:
  19. some more cool leucophylla close up pics, photos taken 8/25/16: baldwin Co, AL: another Baldwin Co, AL clone: Eastern Al: Another Eastern Al clone, these are robust, vigorous, and these seem to produce nice spring pitchers despite cool weather: Washington Co, AL: Washington Co, AL
  20. I've always wanted to produce a gigantic field of leucophllas and have been attempting to do that forever, but haven't really been able to get anywhere. It just takes way too many plants, and you have to space them out much more than any other species (or so it seems) in order to get good fall traps. Well, now that I'm in this new location, space isn't much of a limitation, so the first attempt to make a field of leucos was made. Turns out, it's more like 2 rows of leucos than a field, but good enough! Technically speaking, this isn't one population, but multiple populations from various localities. There's albas, pinks, reds, regulars, and weirdos all up in the mix. These looked a bit ratty all summer long because there were tons of spring traps that had fallen over and turned brown, but I spent all weekend cleaning them up and now they look pretty nice! Interestingly enough, there are some late summer traps, but the main fall traps haven't yet shot out yet, so these will likely become even more impressive prolly in the next month or so. The growth points on many plants are showing fall traps, but a few are still spitting out phyllodia. Here's some pics, photos taken 8/14/16: Here you can see some of the bigger "fall traps" being produced. They're sparse at this time of year, and usually we don't see these traps until September at the earliest here in Northern California: I took a couple of "face" shots from the population, and they'll probably look more impressive in a few weeks. These late summer traps are generally a lot more dull looking, but still interesting enough to post: One of the sneakiest chameleons of them all, S. leucophylla var. alba Covington Co, AL. Sometimes, the fall traps look like regular leucophylla, but I finally caught this one looking quite white: a peculiar looking leucophylla from northern Baldwin Co, AL. Probably had some hybridizing in it's distant past: If the late summer trap on this S. leucophylla Baldwin Co, AL looks like this, can't wait to see the fall traps! Last year, this clone only produced phyllodia, but this year it has some strong looking growth emerging: I think this one is washington Co, AL: A typical trap from Eastern Alabama. These genotypes tend to produce both strong spring and fall pitchers here in Northern California, and are possibly more resilient to cooler grow season temps: This clone from Baldwin Co, AL had been pollinated, and I don't see any fall traps emerging regretfully. A lot of the times, when the plant focuses energy into seed production, it doesn't always have a spectacular fall show: Same trap as above: Random clone, no idea where it's from. Nice "asparagus" fall pitcher developing in the background: Now this is a washington Co, AL leuco: Yup, even my wife said this one was "cute" and she has the highest standards out of anyone I know:
  21. Thanks Richard! Honestly, I don't know. Did a google search for "haunchback" and then google replied "do you mean hunchback?"
  22. Not all leucophylla alba clones "interchange" between regular leucophylla and var. alba traps, but quite a few do. As a good example, take a look at this individual. Photos taken 8/4/16: In this first picture, notice the two very different looking traps connect to the same exact plant: perhaps this picture better shows the two traps connected to the same rhizome, the solid white one would be considered var. alba according to Stewy and Donnie Schnell, and the regular looking one would be merely called S. Stewy and Donnie Schnell: 2 different looking traps, same plant! Closer pic, I would have never guessed this was an alba if that super white trap didn't pop out: And just for fun, we've seen something similar with Hurricane creek white, but the less white pitchers still look more alba-ish than the clone referenced above: