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Showing results for tags 'pitcher plants in situ'.
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This post is actually from 2 separate sites in Bay Co, FL. The very first site contains S. leucophylla and S. flava var. rugelii as well, and the second site is pure S. psittacina. Unfortunately, both sites are the result of disturbed or altered land, so they are not the natural, pristine habitats that you see in many of the posts below. The good news is if no herbicide is ever sprayed, these plants will likely persist for a very long time. This very first site is kept in check by an easement where no building is allowed. The grass also seems to be mowed frequently. I found a gigantic S. psittacina growing in the shade at this site, but it was a bit dangerous to explore due to the "quicksand" nature of the bog so we ended up not going in deeper. It appeared that these plants originated from a former a nearby field (which is now a non-native pine plantation, surprise-surprise!) and the only plants that survived from the original site were the ones that "leaked" out via creeks and rain. Dried up creeks and ditches were lined with S. psittacina at this site, and they all led to the pine plantation-that's where everything stopped. tire tracks in the mud create ideal habitat for the parrot pitcher plant, and check out the Drosera filiformis: I think this may have been the giant plant, although it's hard to tell because there's no scale. I can only guess this is the giant plant because the photo was taken in the shade, and this site is mostly full sun: I love how round the heads are on these particular plants: We even found a S. x wrigleyana here, and some Utricularia in bloom: Most of the plants here were regular sized, and they formed perfect little rosettes: They were quite abundant: All photos below are from the second site, which has a very similar origin: this is at the edge of a pine plantation! The field was likely a Sarracenia savanna filled with amazing plants and then it was plowed and transformed into a non-native pine plantation. Only plants that survived were the ones that either spilled out of the field and lined this drainage ditch: On the sides of the ditch were some beautiful specimens: Notice how these plants look different than the plants at the first site: the heads aren't as round: Some nice colors here too: However, there were some round-headed S. psittacinas here too! What's weird is I've seen this same phenomenon in Okaloosa Co, FL where there are "regular" parrot pitcher plants and round headed varieties in the same field. What's also very note-worthy in this photo is check out the substrate: the plants are growing in this grit/sand mixture on the edge of a ditch filled with peat and muck: And last but not least, a S. psittacina flowering at the end of August! Heat stress is linked to anomalous flowering, and I've seen every species within the genus do this. Flower primordia is formed during the summertime, but plant hormones keep them from bolting out during the fall. Extreme heat "neutralizes" the inhibiting hormones:
Unforunately, I don't have very good news about the sites in Washington Co, AL. Prior to visiting this area, I had heard that many of the amazing sites that used to exist in this area were recently destroyed due to a road widening project. It's really sad how little the local people know about the botanical paradise that grows literally in their backyard. I explained to the hotel owner that night that we were out to see carnivorous plants, and he had no idea they were even in the area! That same night, Damon showed a restaurant owner a picture of a S. leucophylla and asked them if they've ever seen this plant before or recognized it. While she did comment on how beautiful it was, surprisingly, she had never seen one, EVER! I was under the impression that this restaurant owner has been there for quite some time, as indicated by how well she knew all the of the other customers. The sad truth is this used to be one of the main hotspots for Sarracenias, and now they're so rare, local people don't even know they're there! Washington County, AL used to have vast acres upon acres of plants. Today, there are little relic patches here and there, and just like in Baldwin Co, AL, these sites have succumbed to tree farming and other agricultural activities....From our observations, one of the main reasons for their near extinction in this area is tree farming! To top it off, the use of round-up (an herbicide) was rampant in this area. Even in the middle of nowhere, road workers have figured out it's easier and faster to spray the weeds on the side of the road than it is to mow them! The reality is this area is quite impoverished, and local people are doing whatever they can to get by. Despite all the negative activities, I'm happy to report that plants in this area still exist as of 2013! They have endured all these years of being beaten up with chemicals and plows, and hopefully, some of these sites will continue to exist. Before we take a tour of the plants, ever wondered what a fire ant hill looks like? They're called fire ants because when they bite, they inject formic acid, which cause a sharp, hot sting! I don't know what it feels like, but ask Axel Bostrom of California Carnivores...he got bit to threads. Here's the mound before I kicked it over: And literally a second after being kicked over, there are 1000's of angry ants moving really fast, ready to bite. These mounds are EVERYWHERE in sarracenia habitats, and it's as horrifying as it looks: A nice pink lipped S. leucophylla filled with love bugs: Pretty much every single trap out there was loaded with love bugs: A neat greenish clone-notice how this population looks very different from the Baldwin Co, AL plants: more love bugs: Nice Lynx spider: I just love the way these washington Co, AL plants look: A little bouquet-notice the old, large pitcher, indicating nice spring/summer pitchers: Another nice plant: group shot: [ There were gigantic populations of S. leucophylla here, but unfortunately, they were growing in thick brush, and they looked like this. Without a burn or clearing, these will eventually perish: But on a brighter note (literally!), there were some amazing var. albas here: And to end the show, this S. leucophylla var. alba is one of the best that I saw out there!