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Are there really red darlingtonias out there, or are they only red when they're small seedlings? HOw about plants with red bodies and yellow tops? Are there bronze colored Cobras? Is there a such thing as a giant Darlingtonia that can reach the size of a baseball bat, if not slightly bigger? Are there variants of Darlingtonias with an abnormal amount of windows on them? IS there a huge diversity of "tongue" shapes? HOw about "teeth"-do some darlingtonias have them?

It may shock some of you that the answer to ALL of these questions is YES!

here's a giant plant. One thing I observed is many of these giant plants produce one huge pitcher and that's it for the season-reminds me a lot of S. flava var. rubricorpora:

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Another shot of the same trap:

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Here's one with a red body and yellow "top":

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This one's mustache was cut a little short:

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A clone with a bronze head:

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The windows on this clone is quite extensive:

IMG_9477.jpg

Another shot:

IMG_9476.jpg

more photos to come...

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Like this one Carl,but mines only in cultivation I’m afraid.Not like your wild beauties

reddarlingtonia_zpsc1a5de28.jpg

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WOW!!!! Keep the pics coming..

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Here we have some golden plants mixed in with some red contrast-sorry for the blurry pic:

IMG_9489.jpg

Another golden-ish clump:

IMG_9524.jpg

This plant was found by an abandoned goldmine way high up in the mountains. The tongue is bright red, and while this plant does display a good amount of red, they can get even redder than this:

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Here's a red variant with an extensive amount of windows:

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This clone has a really short tongue. Here's an interesting observation: in the wild, many plants had deformed tongues, and I thought it might be genetics. However, it turns out it was an environmental factor because on the same plant, you can find traps with deformed tongues and normal tongues. This clone below might be able to grow a larger tongue than shown below, but who knows:

IMG_9540.jpg

And while we're on the topic of darlingtonia tongues, if you look carefully, you can see little 'teeth' on this clone:

IMG_9462.jpg

Damon Collinsworth of California Carnivores discovered this plant. This was the longest tongue I've ever seen on a Darlingtonia! It's hard to see the scale of things from the picture:

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The tongue on this plant looks like a little bow-tie:

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and here's a more standard, triangular tongue with some interesting color combinations:

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Here's a typical green plant. Ironically, in this population, it was a minority:

IMG_9479.jpg

And these were just good looking! Windows on this clone is extensive, but not as extreme as some other plants:

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Many of the plants in this population looked like this! I love the Gold and red lining contrast:

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One portion of the seep had a mixture of mud, gravel, and sand. While the plants grew in this substrate, it wasn't the best-the plants did best near the bottom of the seeps where it leveled out, and lots of dead leaves, sticks, old traps, etc. collected and turned into substrate. Plants in the gravel substrate tend to be very colorful though...

IMG_9474.jpg

And a little bit of habitat captured in this picture to give you a feel for the environment:

IMG_9495.jpg

And there's more photos to come!

Edited by meizwang

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Linuxman-I believe they're no different from Cephalotus, Sarracenia flava var. rubricorpora, etc: when given the right environmental conditions, some clones can color up. In cultivation, they can be a boring, dull green, but they can also be dark red.

Can all clones do this? I don't think so-I think genetics plays a huge role in their ability to color up.

-Mike

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Wow amazingly beautiful!! Just don't show these to Stewart McPherson, or we may soon have 20 new names for all these clones in a 500-page Darlingtonia book!! :)

Thanks,

Fernando

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LOL fernando! We otta take it easy on him-afterall, he is helping to spread the word about CP's to the general public, which is key to the survival of these gems in the future.

Edited by meizwang

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Wow amazingly beautiful!! Just don't show these to Stewart McPherson, or we may soon have 20 new names for all these clones in a 500-page Darlingtonia book!! :)

Thanks,

Fernando

:laugh2:

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a

Edited by meizwang

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okay, now where were we? Oh yes, back to the photos!

I saw this plant glowing in the light, so it seemed appropriate to take a photo of it. This is one of the more typical plants in the population:

IMG_9531.jpg

The grassy habitats tend to house some really big plants. This trap was pretty big, but again, it's hard to tell without scale:

IMG_9527.jpg

The width on Darlingtonia tongues are sometimes pretty fat, which give them a triangular shape, but other times, they're somewhat skinny. It can either be flat, droop down, curl up, curl down-the possibilities are numerous. Here we have a tongue that's skinny and drooping down like mustache:

IMG_9533.jpg

And speaking of mustaches, there may be some convergent evolution going on with Darlingtonias and our CP buddy Larry Logoteta, haha: http://www.bacps.org/2008Spring/images/showandtell1.jpg

Another clone with that awesome mustache or tongue drooping down:

IMG_9460.jpg

This clone reminds me of a person stretching their arms out:

IMG_9448.jpg

Another shot:

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One last shot:

IMG_9446.jpg

And here's a more "triangular shaped" tongue. Notice the width is much thicker than some of the others photographed above:

IMG_9453.jpg

Edited by meizwang

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After driving way out into the mountains on a sketchy dirt road in Del Norte Co, CA, It was about a 3/4 mile hike to see the plants in the photograph below. We had to cross a river twice to get to the site, and since the water was high, you either got your shoes wet or you went barefoot. My friends Damon and Harry didn't follow me to this site because it was too "burley" as we say here in california. To get to this seep, you had to walk upstream in the river since the brush was so thick on the banks. To my surprise, in the middle of thick brush on the bank of the river, there was a little seep filled to the brim with plants that had super-ridiculously gigantic traps-just unbelievably big. They were growing in mostly shade but it looks like they got afternoon sun. I should have put my hand there for reference, but anyhow, here are the monsters:

IMG_9568.jpg

The photos below are in Josephine Co, Oregon. I love the shape on this individual plant-the straightness of the tongue and the thin width makes it look very shapely:

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Same clone with the seep in the background:

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One last shot with the evening light:

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Minus the threat of bears and the piercing sound of large caliber rifles being shot in the background(I suppose hunting season was not yet over, or the marijuana growers were having a serious battle), These cobra habitats are as tranquil as they look. Untouched mountains surround the sites, and there's a constant background noise of water flowing and the occasional towhee singing their evening song:

IMG_9456.jpg

And so is the end of the story for today. More to come!

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You're welcome Garden of Eden!

Now that's it cold outside and there's very little growing activity (well, tuberous sundews are happenin!), perhaps this is a great time to enjoy some more photos of Darlingtonias in the wild!

I'll start off with these beautiful red plants growing in Josephine Co, OR:

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Another colorful clone:

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And you can only guess who's in the background of my pictures...Yup, the infamous serial "photo-ruiner" who should be in the guiness book of world records for ruining the most in situ shots of CP's in the wild...our very own Damon Collinsworth! Hey Damon, how's that camera working?

IMG_9484.jpg

Damon Collinsworth "spooking" the photographer, causing a blurry picture :)

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Damon: "ay, c'mon Mike, it'll be FIIIIIIIIIIINE"-that's his answer to everything, including messed up photos:

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And here we have an amazing red population of Darlingtonia. Some Darlingtonias can get a little bit of red here and there, but this population in Del Norte Co, CA consistently has some of the most amazing red plants I've ever seen! In 2010, we visited this same exact site, and there were a few clumps that were completely red, and other clones that were green. Harry Tryon, our foremost expert in locating Darlingtonias, said a few weeks earlier, this same site had only green plants, and these only turned red when later in the season. Well here we were, Oct. 2012 to visit the same exact site, and low and behold, they were red again! This leads me to believe the red coloration is genetic, and the right environmental conditions trigger them to turn colors. Only one minor detail: check out Damon in the background ruining the photo, haha:

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Another close-up of the red clone with Damon in the background:

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This one is sort of red:

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Just so pretty-and the shape is nice too:

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Here's a nice red clump:

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another shot of the red plants:

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The "extensive" windows are more common than we thought and can be found in many different populations:

IMG_9578.jpg

Crappy blurry shot, but these things are RED:

IMG_9583.jpg

Last but not least, a clone with a bright red tongue:

IMG_9577.jpg

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Beautiful photos! Looks like the location I have visited a few times over the last couple years, just can't get enough of Darlingtonia in the wild, especially when they are flowering. Thank you for sharing these photos.

Edited by DJ57

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Seeing these photos it's surprising we don't get "Red Clone", "Yellow Clone", "Many windowed Clone" etc offered for sale (at least we don't on this side of the pond). A shame really, as I wouldn't mind having one of each :yes:

Great photos anyway - keep them coming.

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Thank you all!

I agree linuxman-I haven't really seen any collection with the unusual "copper tops" for example. In the US, darlingtonias are still very uncommon in collections. The most incredible plant I've seen was grown by my good friend Rob Co-this thing was dark purple: Darlingtonia californica They don't color up like this in the wild from what I've seen. He had them under twin wall polycarbonate, and the temperatures would fluctuate to an extreme: during the day, it was really warm, and during the night, it was really cold. Maybe that's the answer?

It's very possible that many of these color forms are already in circulation, but we may not know it because perhaps it's quite difficult to coax them to color up like they do in the wild.

Edited by meizwang

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Thank you all!

I agree linuxman-I haven't really seen any collection with the unusual "copper tops" for example. In the US, darlingtonias are still very uncommon in collections. The most incredible plant I've seen was grown by my good friend Rob Co-this thing was dark purple: Darlingtonia californica

They don't color up like this in the wild from what I've seen. Rob had them under twin wall polycarbonate, and the temperatures would fluctuate to an extreme: during the day, it was really warm, and during the night, it was really cold. Maybe that's the answer?

It's very possible that many of these color forms are already in circulation, but we may not know it because perhaps it's quite difficult to coax them to color up like they do in the wild.

Edited by meizwang

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A terrific post Mike. Absolutely fascinating pics. The other-worldly environment is stunning.

Did you section any of the pitchers to see how many insects the traps were catching? I note the spiders there make use of the pitchers as they do with other cps.

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Thanks Kiwiearl! I didn't cross-section any traps this time, but I have in the past. The trap I observed was moderately filled, but it wasn't overflowing like S. leucophylla does in the fall. My overall impression of these wild plants is that even though many have very large pitchers and are well fed, they're not growing very fast. Slower growing plants in general tend to have thicker, waxier leaves, which makes them more resilient to extreme cold temperatures.

The only spiders I observed in situ were the ones crawling on my head after I accidently walked, face-first, through their web, haha I think the local spiders are normally more active in the fall and they might hang out on the pitchers like you see on Sarracenias in the wild, but perhaps by the time we got there, it was too late. It had already become pretty cold and rainy, and maybe the light snow that came in a week earlier forced a lot of the insects back into hiding. However, despite the time of year and cold weather, there are TONS of flying insects in these areas, especially biting mosquitos. It's hard to forget that!

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