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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:
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 population of S. leucophylla from Covington Co, AL is rather amazing! There are deep red plants, bright white ones, and all sorts of different shapes and sizes. My favorite is the reddish plant with the blinding white tops...hard to beat that! This population seems to have been a lot bigger many years back, but again, I think it was hit by the prolonged drought we had two years ago, which really wiped out many plants. This site is very similar to Bob Hanrahan's property in the sense that it is a large open field that's on a gentle slope. At the top of the "hill" water seeps from below and keeps the area moist but not very water-logged. There's a "creek" that runs near the middle of the bog, and in this creek is a row of S. leucophyllas and many other native plants. It's really thick with vegetation in this very moist creek bed, so I didn't venture into it (snakes commonly hang out in thick brush). Speaking of snakes, we did find a dead one at this site, and it was pretty big! The site looks like it was burned at least a year ago, but it was starting to get pretty thick, and when you can't see your feet, it's a bit nerve wrecking, especially after knowing poisonous snakes are around there. Unfortunately, all around this site, there are farms and slash pine plantations. In fact, the adjacent parcel is a thick pine plantation. This location seems to be protected and managed by the forest service, so it will likely last in the long run. It's also seems large enough where to the point that the watershed can't be messed with. I did see seedlings here and there, which indicates the population is healthy and expanding. AS long as this site continues to be burned, it will stay healthy. Overview of the habitat shot. I was standing near the "top" of the hill in this photo, which is a forest of native pines. All photos taken 9/9/13: Some baby, native long leaf pines growing in the field: Here's Axel Bostrom with a fairly large, bright white S. leucophylla: A close up of the same plant: A slightly red clone: Some more stunning red plants: Another shot of the same clump: The highly coveted S. leucophylla hybrid that has some S. flava var. rugelii in it's genes. I just love these types of hybrids! Closer shot of the same plant: Sometimes I start wondering if Hurricane creek white is all that, but upon close comparisons, HCW is much brighter white: Notice there are veins on the outside of this S. leucophylla var. alba. The best HCW clones under optimal conditions do not have this venation. However, I wonder if the plant below doesn't have veins on the outside under different environmental conditions? Look at the shape on this one!!! Some more S. leucophylla var. albas growing in the shrubs: Wish I could have seen this one open: A nice healthy clump. This seems to be all one clone: There were so many S. leucophylla var. albas here: More photos to come!