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Showing results for tags 'Sarracenia flava var. rugelii'.
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The most outstanding, jaw dropping extreme red throated S. flava variants I've ever seen anywhere on this planet are from the Eastern Alabama population. We didn't get to see these plants in their prime, but you can tell based on these old pitchers that this is something extraordinary: the interior of the trap is bright red and the color extends up the lid a bit more than your regular rugelii normally does: I think this might be a different clone, but very similar idea: We also found some cut throat "leucophyllas": Hard to tell from this photo, but the lid on this one was slightly white: There were only 2-3 flavas clones in the entire population displaying this slight white top: Population size here was decent, there were a few patches like this: Some were rather gigantic: Pretty much every flava here had a beautiful red throat, although I didn't capture much of that: From left to right: Damon, Kate, and Axel amongst this beautiful patch of well-defined red throated rugeliis: A giant clone: and last but not least, a really giant yet funky looking trap:
All of the sites I've seen in Covington Co, AL are seepage slope bogs: water from uphill slowly percolates into an open field, and the area that stays consistently saturated is filled with Sarracenia. After visiting countless sites, one major observation was made: S. flava var. rugelii seems to be more tolerant of water-logged habitat in comparison to S. leucophylla. Perhaps the yellow trumpet pitcher plant has a different root system by which it can tolerate slightly lower levels of oxygen, but who knows. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule: anytime you have moving water, even if it's really mucky and boggy, S. lecuophylla can grow there. With all that in mind,the first photo below is an overview of a population of mainly S. flava var. rugelii. In the foreground, there's a dried up creek filled with tulip trees...it's too bad we didn't get to see them in bloom because those flowers are amazing! In the background, you can see a dense population of yellow trumpet pitcher plants. There's 2-3 main seeps that feed this bog: And as you can see, this site is dominated by S. flava var. rugelii: Homies in situ. I suppose on the other side of the pond, one would call them "mates" in situ: And here you can see how the plants grow from the water source. What you can't really tell from the photo is that almost every plant here is gigantic: Some huge lids: Same trap with my hand to sort-of show scale. My hand isn't as fat as it used to be, haha: This spot is really beautiful, although it was hard to find because it occurs in the middle of a forest that doesn't seem like it would be conducive of this habitat: A few beauties, although they were past their prime: S. leucophylla was also at this site, although they hadn't yet produced fall pitchers: And a S. x moorei just popped open: This one had an alien eye: WE found the very rare S. flava var. maxima here, and I'll post pics shortly once they're uploaded.
The best flava rugelii site I've ever seen is also the scariest site I've ever been to. Damon & Axel of California Carnivores accompanied me on a trip to the deep south, and we're talkin' DEEP South! The site is located deep in the forest on dirt roads that don't show up on the maps, and judging by the lack of foot traffic, this spot isn't visited very often, or so we thought! Being in a very isolated forest far from civilization has both it's charm and danger: one minute, you're in paradise, standing in front of hundreds of thousands of wild plants that are giant and thriving. In the snap of a finger, you're in survival mode making decisions while adrenaline rushes through your body. This site was recently burned, and there was a massive amount of seedlings everywhere, which indicates a very healthy and thriving population. While there are flava sites in the Carolinas that are larger than this site, this is by far the largest population of flavas I've ever seen in the wild. Literally, as far as the eye can see, there's a "river" of flavas that follow a gentle slope, much like how Darlingtonias are found in seeps: Notice how they all grow in what looks like a river that's somewhat dried out. It wasn't extremely wet at this site, but it wasn't dry either: The usual suspects, Damon Collingsworth and Axel Bostom of California Carnivores: Some more habitat shots: I was surprised to find some very bright white S. leucophylla var. albas here. We've seen a lot of sites in Okaloosa Co, FL, and very few had albas like this: They weren't really eating much this time of the year which is strange because last year, every single trap was loaded with insects. The flavas were also not very well fed: Stunning beauties like this were everywhere, and they were gigantic! I hear Damon and Axel yelling at me to go back and we had only been there for a good 15 minutes. Granted, I'm always the one who wants to stay, but in this case I was like "Really? We literally just got here, C'mon man!" I stubbornly said I'll be there in a minute-for the love of Jesus, I had barely taken any pictures yet! But then I saw them running at me frantically, and I wasn't sure of what to make of that, so I took a picture: Axel: "Mike, did you just hear that?" Mike: "hear what?" We paused for a second and heard a creepy whistle that started out in monotone and then ended with an upglide, followed by a gunshot in our direction! It continued 2 more times, and worst of all, the sound was coming from the direction of our car, which was not close but not too far away. I've done a lot of shooting, and it sounded like either a 12 gauge or 20 gauge shotgun, so I knew unless he had sluggers in there, we're safe if we're far away from him. We did our due diligence prior to "boggin" and knew hunting this time of year is with bow and arrow only, and who goes out to the middle of the forest on a TUESDAY in the middle of nowhere?! Okay, to give Damon and Axel credit, they weren't being wussies because it was 100F out there and it felt like 115F, we were definitely in some serious danger. Damon and Axel were about a 1000 yards from me and because of the hilly nature of the site, a lot of the sound gets absorbed so it's hard to hear even a loud cry for help or gunshot nearby. We were in trouble. I was pumped with adrenaline and in survival mode, and rationalized that there were two options: creep back to the car carefully while hiding behind trees and scouting the situation, or find another road and follow it back to the highway. I have a 6th sense when it comes to directions and wasn't worried about getting lost, but we decided it made more sense to see if we can scout out the situation because without water, you're in even more danger. IT's tough finding drinking water in an area that is as warm and hostile as NW Florida (it hasn't rained much recently). We all decided to slowly check out the car after a little bit of time had passed and the gunshots ceased. As we carefully approached the car, it was still there in perfect condition and nobody was in sight. Needless to say, we got into the car as quickly as possible and left at BALLER speed on the sketchy dirt road. Take home message is that even with a lot of experience and a good size group, people don't realize just how dangerous it is out there. One second you're in paradise and in the blink of an eye, you're in fight or flight mode. More to come, this wasn't the only gunshots we heard on the trip!