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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:
Sadly, it seems like S. leucophylla from Franklin County, FL is doing better in cultivation than in the wild. Granted, there are several populations we didn't see that are hopefully doing well, but of the ones we saw, they were in decline and had very few individuals. There were no signs of seedlings. The few individuals that we did see are in great health and had multiple growth points, but the low numbers of individuals compared to historic numbers indicates these sites are in danger. Much effort is being undertaken to restore some of these sites. Even though they may be in bad shape today, there's great hope in the future that they will be back to where they should be. Both habitats we saw were completely altered by humans, and one site was flooded earlier this year so the only plants that survived were the ones on the edge of the waterline or on islands that weren't fully submerged in water. For those of you who have grown S. leucophylla, many of the genotypes out there aren't very forgiving when it comes to flooding the roots: they tend to rot very easily. Running water isn't a problem nor are large pools of water, but when you have a stagnant drainage ditch with low oxygen levels, that's when rot kicks in. Here's the habitat for S. lecuophylla in Franklin Co, FL. This used to be a site planted with trees that was harvested. S. flava var. rugelii can be seen in this photo: There were probably more plants here, but we only found 2 or 3 clumps. Traps hadn't yet formed, so it was hard to spot them: We were a few weeks early: I did find one trap that was open, and you can tell there are some nice red genetics here: An old summer trap: At another site, we probably found maybe 15 plants total. This plant pictured below was found growing on the edge of a drainage ditch. The ditch was previous filled with water, but now it's so dry you can walk in it. Plants only grew on the sides of the ditch or on islands that weren't submerged under water for long periods of time. Unfortunately, this plant is now competing with the surrounding vegetation for light: On the other hand, some clumps here looked decently healthy: A closer look at a new pitcher opening: This clump had many new pitchers forming: Just opened: They are much more beautiful in cultivation. Here's S. leucophylla clone A x B (select clone) Franklin Co, FL, photo taken last year in 2013: Not a very exciting report, but we definitely learned a thing or two.