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Found 9 results

  1. Red variants of S. leucophylla from Washington County Alabama are almost unheard of and are extremely rare, but they do exist. To recap, I suspect the red pigments in S. leucophylla originated from hybridizing with other species and then back-crossing with lecuophylla several generations to the point that you can't tell it was originally of hybrid origin. In Santa Rosa and okaloosa Co, FL leucophylla crossed mainly with flavas and roseas to get the red pigments. On the other hand, I suspect the washington Co, AL leucophyllas crossed with alata and rubra wherryi to get these red pigments! This makes them very genetically unique. Normally, the red pigments are found concentrated below the white on the petiole, which gives a strong contrasting look (ie. red plants from Walton Co, FL, Franklin Co, FL, Okaloosa Co, FL, Covington Co, AL variants). In some cases, the whole pitcher becomes reddish as the trap ages. On the other hand, freshly opened pitchers on the Washington Co, AL have red that is suffused with the white and just below the white pigments on the petiole! If I had to guess, rubra wherryi is the reason you see this difference. Photos taken 10/5/16: This thing has a really FAT lip too, almost looks kinda like a nepenthes peristome without the "lines": The kink in the trap is environmental: The spring traps were much redder, but I think I transplanted it in early summer so the adjustment caused this plant to not be as red. it'll be interesting to see what the traps look like next spring.
  2. Here's a bed of S. leucophylla Hurricane creek white from Baldwin Co, AL. The original site is about 100% altered and 99% destroyed. There aren't any outstanding clones left in the wild like we have in cultivation (well, there are nice ones still there but they don't compare), but there's still a relic patch of plants alive today, here's a link to the story: http://www.cpukforum.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=51000 There's still a bunch of traps have yet to open, so these plants are not at their fullest potential, but they're starting to look nice! Photos taken 8/29/16:
  3. I remember being in college and having a conversation with a fellow CP expert. He saw how "addicted" I was to Sarracenias, and he said that eventually, I'll probably get bored of them, and then move on and focus on something else. As the years went by, I always reflected on that conversation and thought, how can you get bored of Sarracenias? Within one species, there's as much diversity out there as you can imagine (sadly, there used to be even more than that until most of it was destroyed in the wild). The photos below really demonstrate why many of us will be hooked on pitcher plants till the day we die. There isn't just one S. leucophylla alba out there, but there are hundreds of thousands of individuals, and just like humans, each individual is special and unique. Even regular leucophyllas out there are bright white. Let's say that theoretically, one becomes bored because they've seen and grown 1000's of different clones of every species and variety. Well, then there's the path to hybridization,which probably takes at least 2-3 lifetimes to really explore the endless possibilities. In other words, a lifetime isn't enough time to really experience Sarracenias! all photos below were taken 9/10/13 in northern Baldwin Co, AL: S. leucophylla var. alba-check out how white the interior of the trap is: Another S. leucophylla var. alba, this time with nice red "netting" on the outside: A regular S. leucophylla with heavy "veining." S. leucophylla var. ornata? Shhhh, don't tell Stewart McPherson, hehe Just kidding: Love how the petiole or trap is skiny on the bottom and fat/symmetical at the top: Same clone, but view of the back. Look at how white this clone is! S. leucophylla var. (maybe alba?): A standard looking clump: Mildly pink lip-this clone will probably turn darker pink in the next few months: S. leucophylla var. alba-can you see how no one "var. alba" looks exactly the same? A shapely reddish-pink clone. These red and pink pigments probably come from historic interbreeding with S. rosea and/or S. "alabamensis" ssp. wherryi: Lots of white on this clone, with a beautiful contrasting red at the bottom. Nature is a work of art: Same clone, slightly different angle:
  4. 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.
  5. There are perhaps only a handful or two of large populations of S. leucophylla left in the wild. The majority that still remain are either relic patches of a once giant field of plants, or volunteers in modified habitats (ie. man made drainage ditches). Many of the historically giant populations are now either destroyed, or if they haven't been touched whatsoever, they are now etiolated plants growing in thick, dense forests. Before people dominated the landscape and plowed or altered every square acre of land, fires would come in and burn up the forest, creating new habitats for Sarracenias to colonize. Today, those forest are mainly homes, structures, and farms where fire isn't permitted since it would damage people's property. It's surprising how short lived many of these sites are, especially during the more recent times. On the other hand, they're still there, and they've struggled to survive the face of human negligence. This site below only exists because a power company consistently clears the grasses every year or so to protect their electrical equipment. On the side of the road nearby, I had already seen signs of round-up (herbicide) use, and it's only a matter of time when they spray this field. One application of herbicide can ruin centuries of growth. If I had to bet, this site will be sprayed in the next few years once they realize the cost savings. As pessimistic as it may seem, this is the reality for many of these sites. We visited many historic sites that didn't have a single plant left due to annual herbicide applications. However, there are some remote sites like the one below that still exist today, so maybe...just maybe a few will stand the test of time. Enough doom and gloom talk, let's check out these beautiful fields! Here are some S. leucophylla in Washington Co, AL, photos taken 9/11/13. First couple of photos focus on the field itself-there were 3 large patches at this site: Plants here were as healthy as can be! There's nothing like a huge field of leucophyllas: There were also S. rubra wherryi and S. psittacina (and some giant psitts!) at this site as well, but the grass was really tall, and you could only see the leucos. Still very inspiring to see a patch this size, which is still relatively small compared to what used to exist: thousands of plants everywhere: Tons and tons of plants: Poor Axel Bostrom of California Carnivores stepped on a fire ant hill at this site, and the pain was so extreme, he had to go wait in the car. These hills were hidden deep in the grass, and were EVERYWHERE: More photos of individual plants coming soon. This site had some amazing diversity which we will explore in a little bit, so stay tuned!
  6. 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!
  7. The original site where S. leucophylla hurricane creek white used to exist in the wild was plowed and turned into a pine tree plantation. While I never saw the original site before it was destroyed, I had heard it was a huge field filled with plants! The original site had many normal S. leucophyllas, but a few plants displayed the blinding white traps that we are fortunate enough to have preserved in cultivation prior to the site being destroyed. A lot of people probably are wondering, what does this site look like today, and is there anything left? Surprisingly, there is still a tiny little patch remaining to this day, but it is slowly being overgrown by the surrounding shrubs. Are there any super-white plants left? Sort of, but nothing like what we have in cultivation. 2 years ago when we first spotted this relic patch, there was a little opening in the shrubs (which were much shorter at the time) and you could walk in there and see quite a few plants. This little clearing had a decent amount of sunlight. As of 2013 (2 years later), that open patch is now filled with thick shrubs, and there's no way you can even attempt to walk in there! All of the plants that were once receiving decent light are now etiolated and shaded. Many only produced phyllodia. Will this patch survive in the long run? IF a fire comes through, or someone clears up the shrubs consistently, this relic site can potentially last a long time. However, the landowners clearly aren't interested in preserving these plants, and as is, the site will likely persist for a few more years at best. In the case of the S. rubra wherryi Chatom giant site, in 2004 (?), the population was in the same situation: they were heavily shaded by thick shrubs and struggling to survive. As of 2013, we didn't find a single Sarracenia in the original Chatom giant site. There were also gigantic S. psittacinas that used to grow there..these were also all gone. While I remain optimistic that the little hurricane creek patch may persist for a few more years, I remain skeptical that it will last through time. Photos of what remains of the original hurricane creek white site. This will likely be one of the last documented set of photos of the site before it disappears forever. It's damn hard to find, I'll tell you that much! Keep in mind, this used to be a field, but is now thick shrubs that eventually turn into a non-native forest (pine plantation) behind them: You used to be able to walk in here: Still, we did find an impressive hurricane creek white plant here and there: Most of them, however, looked like regular leucos, or relative white regular plants: They may be starving for light, but they sure aren't starving for insects! In two years, this will likely turn into thick brush: Actually, some beautiful and interesting plants are still alive: you can tell this is a relative of hurricane creek white: Decent hurricane creek white plant: The dark green and contrasting white is what makes hurricane creek white so unique. Most other populations don't have that characteristic:
  8. Before I write my own fieldtrip report on this site, I want to share with you all a fieldtrip report that I have from my files about this exact site. The notes dated all the way back to 1994 (I was in 7th grade at the time!), so when we decided to visit this site, I was a bit skeptical that there would be anything still alive, especially in light of what was seen back in 1994: "the bog was in much worse shape than it was when he was here last time. In the seepage areas of the Savannah flava typica, leucophylla, psittacina, tracyii, capillaris were found. I also found flava leuco hybrids. There were supposed to be pure red flava here, but [he] couldn't find them. Maybe they were dug up, who knows? We took photo and video. We stopped for a bite at a shleppy corner store. Got a good dinner for $3.99." Despite what was said about this site in 1994, there's good news: this bog is very healthy as of Sept. 2013, and the red flavas are still there! More on the red plants in another post...this report will focus on S. leucophylla. Notice the previous visitor mentioned "a seepage area." Again, this site is almost exactly like a Darlingtonia fen in the sense that the plants only grow within the seep, but you won't find a single plant outside of it. Think of these Florida "seeps" as a very slow moving creek, except it's pretty wide and filled with mucky peat. It's boggy and slushy when you walk through it. The seep is between two hills that have a gentle slope, and on each side of the hill is a savanna or grassland mixed with conifers This is another "hilly" site just like the ones in Okaloosa Co, FL, except the slopes are a lot more gentle here. These habitats are very different from the huge fields you see in Baldwin Co, AL, where the plants aren't in some mucky area, but rather grow in the middle of a flat field. Those habitats exist because there is ground water beneath them, so while the surface of the soil may seem relatively dry, there is plenty of water underneath (enough to support Crayfish!) Anyhow, check out this habitat! Photos were taken 9/10/13: It's hard to tell from the photo, but there is a gentle slope on both sides of this seep. Notice the plants in the middle: In the front of this area, there's an "oval" area where you can see leucos and flavas growing. This is the "top" of the bog, where water from uphill is slowly seeping into the wet areas. In the background, there's some thick, green shrubs-this turns into a "wanna-be" creek, where the bog continues to gently roll downhill. The boggy creek that continues gently down the slight hill is very thick with shrubs, but the Sarracenias grow in the middle of the creek: Another shot of the same spot: One more shot: The leucophyllas here were pretty white: Fresh pitcher opening up: some more bright white plants: As you can see, they're very healthy: Standard looking leuco: Beautiful plants-these are growing in the "creek" a bit downhill from the previous photos: Another shot:
  9. 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!