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My friends Damon and Axel of California Carnivores and I had the opportunity to check out the "flava atropurpurea" site in Okaloosa Co, FL, and while most eyes are on the flavas, my eyes were on the leucos! Not much is heard about, spoken of, or known about gigantic leucophyllas out there, and two years back, we discovered a gigantic plant in Baldwin Co, AL. This year, after seeing 100's of 1000's of S. leucophylla plants in the wild, we happen to stumble upon one gigantic plant! It's tough to see just how big they are in the photographs, but I did my best to give you a sense of just how big these monsters get. One interesting detail about this site is that it's located in the hills. Who would have thought that sarracenia bogs were found in the middle of a hilly forest?! More details on that in future posts. While the photographs we took depict a beautiful, tranquil scene, I assure you this is an incredibly hostile environment! Temperatures were near the 100's that day, and we constantly had to go back to the car, turn on the AC, and recover every 2 hours or so. In a lot of places, the grass is so tall you can't see you feet. This habitat is perfect for many deadly and venomous snakes! Every step you take could be your last one, as their teeth are sharp enough to go through hiking shoes and rubber boots. HEat exhaustion is no joke, and we were constantly drenched in sweat. Hiking under such conditions can be dangerous if you don't pay attention to staying hydrated. It's nice to look back at the photographs in the safetly of your home! For your viewing pleasure, below are photos of S. leucophylla growing in the wild in Okaloosa Co, FL. Photos were taken 9/7/13 and 9/8/13: The giant S. leucophylla! Lynx spider and some love bugs on the giant pitcher: Another shot of the giant trap: Close up: Lynx spider with prey on the gigantic trap: Damon Collinsworth in situ with the gigantic plant: one of the rare circumstances where he isn't ruining the photo: Mike Wang in situ with the same gigantic plant: And now for some other clones at this site-many plants were very white: large clumps of the same clone were fairly common here, indicating a happy environment for these plants:
Rightfully so, there's a lot of hype behind S. flava x leuco crosses (S. x moorei), but there seems to be less interest and focus on alata x leucophylla crosses, which can be equally astonishing in my opinion. Hopefully, after seeing some of these photos, this might raise a few eyebrows out there and encourage growers to take a look at alata x leuco hybrids. Let me add a disclaimer: I've seen some absolutely UGLY alataxleuco hybrids in the wild! When breeding, think about using only your best clones to breed with. At the site we visited in Jackson Co, MS, there were pure S. alatas, S. psittacina, and S. alata x leucos, but no pure leucos. Some of these amazing hybrids were likely the result of complex hybridization. All photos below were taken 9/5/13: This is what I mean by amazing alata x leuco hybrids! Another shot: And in case that one wasn't too impressive, how about this one? Top view of the same clone: Now for some mostly pure alatas: Beautiful bronzy clone: Another shot: The variation was endless, and these fields seem to go on for many square miles. We only saw a little piece of it:
S. leucophyllas, Baldwin Co, Alabama
meizwang posted a topic in Carnivorous Plants in Habitat.