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Posts posted by AdamH

  1. Hi,

    I've hastily taken a few pics of some windowsill Pinguicula plants that have been in flower over Christmas and New Year - these pics were taken about 3 days ago, hand-held (and so not very good :wink: ) but still give an idea of the wonderful Ping flowers that appear during winter.

    The images aren't that big (each under 100k, most 50k or less), but may be a bit slow to load, as my ISP webspace is slow - I'll be getting "proper" web hosting in the next few weeks.

    1. Pinguicula gracilis:



    2. Pinguicula laueana 'CP2':




    3. Pinguicula rotundiflora:


    4. Pinguicula [unknown Hybrid] (any ideas? I have a supposed parentage, involving 3 species):


    HAPPY NEW YEAR to all CPUK Forum members - good luck with your plants in 2006! :D

  2. Hi Graham,

    That is a beautiful flower! It seems that hybrids of Mexican Pinguiculas can be as complex as Sarracenia hybrids - I'm certain that Pings should really be one of the most popular houseplants, not sure why it hasn't happened yet!

    Anyway, your hybrid is fantastic - gives me an incentive to start trying to create some myself!

  3. OK, here's my update to the thread (finally!!):

    This is a continuation from last year's visit to the site (my first) with Vic Brown, see this old thread:


    Anyway, after seeing what a wonderful site it was for UK Drosera species (where all 3 - Australian forum members can stop laughing now :evil::lol: - species, plus apparently their hybrids, grow in abundance), I thought I'd invite Langy and Ian along. They had never before seen any CPs growing in the wild, so what better place than where all the Sundews grew in the same location?! Also, at least a couple of Utric species (Utricularia australis and U.minor) are supposed to grow here, though unfortunately we didn't find any on Saturday. Pinguicula vulgaris grows in the nearby hills and mountain foothills, but not on the reserve itself as far as I know (lowland raised bogs are not its preferred habitat), and P.lusitanica grows further down the West Wales coast in Pembrokeshire. This meant that this trip was pure Sundew - and none the worse for it! I never ever tire of seeing these plants in the wild - even whenever I see Drosera rotundifolia growing in a roadside ditch (very common in the west & mid-Wales hills!), it always delights me, so seeing all 3 in one place is fantastic! Plus, I believe that Cors Fochno may be the only location in Wales where all 3 native Drosera species occur - there may be others, and I'd like to explore different areas in future, but here they grow in abundance all over the site. Anyway, enough boring commentry, onto the pics!

    First, some general pics...

    This is the Reserve Information Notice Board:


    (See the "Caution" sections - there are many ways to die here!)

    A habitat shot, showing a couple of ephemeral pools - favoured by Drosera intermedia especially:


    A picture taken in general habitat - an area where many D.anglica were found. Ian is performing that time-honoured bog tradition of "de-flooding boots"! :


    A picture of Langy (or at least his hand!) taking a picture of D.rotundifolia:


    Onto the plants...

    1. Drosera rotundifolia:

    A nice small plant with shining dew drops:


    Overhead shot of a nicely coloured round rosette with short petioles:


    A group of plants with seed heads:


    2. Drosera intermedia:

    A group of deep-burgundy plants with seedheads and hibernacula starting to form:


    Closeup of a single plant with a leaf curling around prey - again forming a hibernaculum:


    A nice group of bright red plants:


    Another close-up:


    A colony of plants growing in their temporarily dry pond at the edge of farmland:


    The best colony of D.intermedia we found was just on some farmland in pools where ponies were grazing:


    The plants seem to thrive here, even growing on the edge of and even inside hoof-prints! The ponies probably crush some plants, maybe creating natural clumps growing from cuttings, and helping to distribute seeds no doubt! Notice the colonies of sundews in the above image, not far from where the ponies' feet are!

    A shot of some plants - glowing in the early evening sun (note the pony hoof-prints):


    Plants at this location were quite robust and very beautiful - a shot of a large plant with forming hibernaculum:


    An overhead shot of plants growing around the edge of the pony hoof-prints (there's actually a plant growing in the bottom of the topmost hoof-print, though it isn't clear in this photo):


    A final view of a spread-out colony of plants:


    A shot of D.rotundifolia and D.intermedia growing side-by-side:


    As Langy has already pointed out, we found a couple of places where all 3 species were growing with 3 - 5cm of each other! There must be hybrids... !

    3. Drosera anglica:

    General habitat shot (with a plant of D.anglica in the centre):


    The plants were sometimes quite difficult to spot in the grasses in which they grew:


    A closer view of the above plant:


    Plants sometimes looked like an upright form of D.capensis from a distance:


    Another plant, with leaves curling around prey (plus hand for reference!):


    As the sun dipped in the sky towards early evening, the plants started to glow with the sun behind them, making them easier to spot in habitat:


    Finally, a nice glowing Drosera anglica:


    Well, I hope you enjoyed the photos. It was certainly a fun day, and better still less than an hour's drive from my home, so I'll be visiting again asap!

  4. Well, just thought I'd update this thread from last year's visit to Cors Fochno with Vic (only just over a year late!! :tu::tu: ).

    At the time, I wasn't sure what to expect, plus I'd only just bought my first digital camera, so I didn't really get many great photos, which is one of the reasons I wanted to return this year. Thus I forgot to update this thread at the time! (better late than never though! :D ).

    This update then serves to contrast the conditions (e.g. the Drosera intermedia ponds were wet, compared to this year's visit - last Saturday - when they had dried up - probably wet again now after Sunday's storms!) with the recent visit.

    After reading this, click here to view the latest visit to Cors Fochno with Langy and Ian:


    Oh, and Langy - just to upset you :tu: :

    cant see the pictures for some reason, but remember my visit several years ago very vividly. found a HUGE plant of X obovata as well....
    (bold emphasis mine)

    (We were trying to find hybrids this time, but no luck - GPS co-ordinates Stephen ?!! :D )

    Anyway, onto a few of last year's pics:

    Vic Brown carefully photographing some Drosera anglica (I think!) in situ:


    Habitat view of the Drosera intermedia ponds near the car park - they were water-filled when we visited in July 2004, but were dry last Saturday:


    A Drosera rotundifolia plant:


    A group of D.intermedia plants growing in shallow water in the "ponds" near the car park:


    And finally, a nice "orange" D.anglica with flower bud:


    Latest visit (3 Sept 2005) is documented here:


  5. Hi,

    Thanks for the very useful info, esp. from Aidan and Vic. That's a great use for a cold frame Aidan! It looks fantastic, as do the plants. And being able to use 20w energy-saving bulbs Vic sounds great. I'd also love to try growing Pinguicula filifolia sometime, and maybe also some of the tropical Northern Australian Utricularia species (e.g. U.fulva, U.leptolectra, etc), which require the same or similar conditions to the Woolly Sundews, so your success with the rare Cuban Butterworts Vic is very encouraging! Plus of course I'll want to grow some other tropical Drosera species. :shock:

    The only thing is that I'll need some extra heating provided, as the terrarium will either be situated in a greenhouse that is heated to a winter night minimum temperature of around 5°C (40°F), which is the most likely location, or in a spare room indoors, where temperatures can still drop to around 10°C (50°F) on winter nights (sometimes lower - we minimize use of central heating here! :cry: ). Any comments on the best methods of heating? I think it's a choice between reptile heat mats/pads, or soil warming cables, as I think using an underwater aquarium heater is too risky (having to diligently check water level and top-up frequently). Obviously heating will be controlled via thermostat, and lighting via timer switch.

    Also, if I situate the terrarium in the greenhouse (as opposed to indoors - not quite sure which it will be yet), that will still be quite a humid and potentially damp environment, so if I were to use "standard" energy-saving bulbs as Vic does, I presume I'd still need to use a special fitting that is "water / humidity - safe": any ideas on this?

    Anyway, this thread has given me loads of information to start planning a terrarium with, and some ideas to think about - many thanks again! :D

  6. Hi Sean,

    Wonderful photos as usual - I love the D.whittakeri ssp aberrans in particular, but the Pterostylis species are fascinating as well (I'm also interested in orchids, especially terrestrial species).

    I've heard that Drosera whittakeri is supposed to be one of the easiest of the rosetted tuberous species to grow, so I'll have to try it sometime - especially in the form of ssp aberrans, with its obliging habit of forming extra tubers at the end of stolons - that's one I'll have to look out for seeds of.

    Anyway, despite the drought conditions you described, I'm glad the plants have survived - shows you how resilient they are, but I fear they will have to be if the future predictions about human-accelerated global warming prove to be correct. :cry:

    Thanks again for some wonderful pics! :D

  7. Absolutely amazing photos Sean, wow! :D

    I love the D. stolonifera ssp stolonifera flowers, they are beautiful. I agree Frank: :D !! :D

    I will definately be expanding my collection of tuberous Drosera soon... :D

    I currently only have D.auriculata and D.macrantha ssp planchonii (both grown by me from seed - should flower this year).

  8. Hi,

    I'm currently growing a tiny collection of Tropical Sundews (Drosera ordensis, D.kenneallyi & D.paradoxa) in a heated propagator in my greenhouse. They seem to be growing ok, but I'd like to create a special petiolaris-complex terrarium for them, to give more space (esp. for when they hopefully flower), plus I'm sure they would grow better, and also I'd like to use artificial lighting, so I can place the terrariums on the lower shelves of the greenhouse staging (and make good use of that space, where much less natural light is available).

    Anyway, this will be my first ever terrarium, and I'm a "complete idiot" where lighting and electrics are concerned, and so have a few questions:

    - What is the best source for heating such a terrarium? I was thinking of maybe using a heat mat/pad, the sort that are used to heat reptile / arachnid vivariums, attached to a suitable thermostat. Would this be the best idea? I've also seen some people write about using aquarium heaters, but these have to be positioned correctly and submerged in a sufficient depth of water (so you have to watch the water level) - does anyone here use this method? What about having a certain depth of substate (say sand) on the bottom, and using under-soil heating cables? Any other ideas?

    - Lighting: I know absolutely zero about lighting issues, so what should I use? Ordinary aquarium fluorescents? Energy saving bulbs? Special grow-lights? What type / stength / make / wattage?

    - Circulation: I understand the woollier species (e.g. D.ordensis, D.lanata etc) prefer a drier atmosphere, and the smooth/glabrous species (e.g. D.falconeri, D.kenneallyi) can take higher humidity, so is it best to set up 2 separate terrariums? Would leaving a sufficient gap (say 2 to 4cm) between the top of the tank and the hood containing the lighting fixtures provide sufficient circulation, or do I need to use a fan of some sort? I'm a bit wary of using fans, especially in a humid / damp environment - are there types that are safest is such situations?

    Keep in mind I'm trying to do this on a budget, and with as low running costs (re: electricity!) as possible, both for financial and environmental reasons, so would prefer to use the lowest wattage for lighting and most energy-efficient method of heating that is possible to give good growing conditions.

    Lastly, if anyone can point me to specific UK-based suppliers of suitable lighting/heating equipment (best value for money / reliability etc), please do so (via PM or email if you prefer not to mention them on the forum).

    I'm not asking much am I? :D:D:D

    Many apologies for all the questions, I just want to cover all areas (feel free to mention anything else I haven't thought about), plus I'm sure the information will be useful for other forum members - especially those of us who are complete novices to terrariums. I've just always wanted to set up a good terrarium, and as I'm developing an interest in the Drosera petiolaris-complex of plants, now may be the time to do so!

    Many thanks in advance for any advice / hints / tips! :D

  9. Hi everyone,

    Thanks for all the replies.

    @Bob H:

    Hey Adam, given enough light and warmth sandersonii and livida will flower year round, possibly bisquamata too, might need a bit more warmth than the others though.

    That's good to know - it's always nice to have some colour year round, especially in the duller winter months - that's why I'm starting to become more interested in Pinguicula, they have fantastic flowers, many during winter.

    @Greg Allan:

    I find that D pulchella x nitidula wil throw up occasional flowers during the winter, even during gemmae production, and in my conditions D paradoxa tries to flower all year round.

    How to you mean "tries to flower" ?! :tu: I guess the problem with many (though not all) Drosera species is that they require either higher temperatures or more sun than we have in the UK during winter to open flowers. I too find a few pygmies send up flower stalks from late autumn through some of the winter, but they seem to either "abort", or the flowers never open (due presumably to lower light and/or temperature levels ?).


    Nearly all my tuberous Drosera develop flowers between December and May and make up the view into our cold greenhouse in winter. The species are listed on www.hartmeyer.de

    That's great to know. Some of the tuberous species have wonderful flowers, and some are scented. Do you have to use extra supplemental grow lights though to get them to grow and flower well, or do you just rely on natural daylight?

    D. glanduligera starts approx. February. D. x tokaiensis (D. rotundifolia x spatulata) flowers around the year, and this fertile hybrid conquers all other pots with it's numerous minute seeds if you do not pay attention.

    That's true - I'd forgotten about D. x tokaiensis! However, even there the flowers don't open for me in winter, they just spread their seed everywhere!

    Perhaps the problem is I'm not using grow lights, just relying on natural light in a greenhouse.

    Many thanks again for the interesting comments! :D

  10. Hi Siggi,

    Many thanks for the advice. :tu:

    It's useful for other species too. Thinking about it, as you say, in nature the water table plus general "bulk" of the soil helps to regulate soil moisture, whereas in small pots the same or a similar sandy mix could dry out too much. So I guess even if a plant grows in very sandy soil in nature, in cultivation a lower proportion of sand may be wiser, to avoid desiccation.

    One of the reasons I try to have a higher proportion of other ingredients (including sand) in the mix is to try to minimize the use of peat, which is getting gradually harder to find here in the UK (due to environmental issues), plus its use is generally "frowned upon" by much of the gardening public these days, as they are aware of the environmental impact (I've had questions on this at "car boot sales" before when selling a few CPs), so the sooner a reliable, relatively cheap and widely-available (and CP-friendly) alternative to sphagnum peat is available, the better we will be!

    Thanks again for the help - and back to the original topic: those are fascinating findings and photos on D.glanduligera, thanks for sharing! :D

  11. Hi fellow Droseraphiles,

    Just wondering, as growers do you find there are any "winter flowering" Drosera species? The period between mid-Autumn and mid-Spring is really brightened up with wonderful Pinguicula flowers (in fact, one of my P.emarginata plants has been continuously flowering for about 2 years now!), and I believe some Utricularia species will flower in winter (or even year round - any confirmation of this? - I have no experience of this myself), but are there any Drosera species that brighten the darker Northern winters with their flowers? I can't think of any myself except for D.prolifera (which seems to flower most of the year, as this is also its main means of asexual reproduction). I realize there are some tuberous (and S.African winter growers?) that flower more-or-less at the start of their growing season (e.g. D.praefolia, some of the other rosetted tuberous sundews), which I guess would be mid- to late-autumn, and others that flower towards the end of their growing season, putting the flowering period in spring. Are there any colourful winter flowerers, or does winter belong to the superb Mexican Pinguiculas? Any thoughts?


  12. Hi Siggi,

    Many thanks for the advice. :D

    As you suggest then, I'll lower the sand content - maybe use 1:1 ratio.

    Can you confirm Siggi though, did you mean 3 parts peat to 1 of sand? If so, that seems quite a high proportion of peat - but as you seem to have great success, I will do the same!

    Actually, I'm not sure if the horticultural sand marketed as "Silver Sand" is silica sand - can anyone with more experience / knowledge on this tell us what type of sand "Silver Sand" really is? Many thanks... :) I prefer to use "Silver Sand" for plants with small tubers, as they don't get lost amongst the larger particles in coarser sands.

    Well, after that, I may still sow just a tiny amount of seed this week, just as an experiment, but leave the big majority stored refridgerated until May.

    Many thanks again for the advice.

  13. Hi Greg,

    You can purchase de-ionized water in garages - e.g. Tescos - I got some for soil pH testing purposes (as rain water is too acidic to get reliable results I think). Not sure if the "free" water at garages is de-ionized or not (if it's for use in batteries, I guess it is). Hope this helps...

  14. OK - time to adjust my plans! :(

    Maybe I'll try a few (say a quarter) of them now, and keep the rest stored in the fridge until next May / June before sowing, to see what works best. Does a good summer of "baking" whilst in the soil help? I realised they would germinate in the autumn, but didn't realise how long it would take! What soil mix do you use? I was thinking of a mix of say 3 to 4 parts Silver Sand (Silica Sand) to 1 part Peat, in large + deep pots. Any extra advice / thoughts are welcome. Many thanks... :twisted:

  15. Hi Sean + Rob,

    Thanks for the info. My dormant cluster is currently in a polythene bag, so that may induce flowering. As I said before, not that I'm too worried. I'm hoping to "feed the plants up" by bringing the water level with the soil surface, to create a thin "film" of water over the surface as often happens in the wild (for at least part of the growing season) and introducing Ostracods.

    Rob, the smoke water idea sounds interesting - I have only used the Kirstenbosch discs to assist in germination of South African Erica species thus far, and hadn't heard of its use with mature plants. May have to try that sometime! (Incidentally - are these smoke-dics useful at all in assisting germination of certain CPs, e.g. tuberous Drosera and Utricularia menziesii, I wonder?).

    @Bob H: patience, my young Utric apprentice Jedi, enquiries am I making, pleased you may be! (make promises I will not though :tu: ) :roll:

    (Failing that - I should have spare next summer :) )


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