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a large S. montana clone


meizwang
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Here's a really vigorous, large clone of S. montana that was recently photographed in early December 2012. The plant is completely dormant, but now that we have cool nights and occasional bright, sunny days, the colors are starting to intensify. Many of these traps were produced in late september and early October, and they typically last throughout the winter dormancy period:

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Thank you all!

Kiwiearl-snails and slugs definitely lurk around the plants, and they rarely do any damage. I did see a ton of eggs on the surface of the medium, which is most likely from earth worms. There's a hole in one of the pictures in the photo above, and that was from me being careless when pruning out the dead pitchers. The traps were filled with rotting flies, and the juice spilled all over me...UGH! The over-abundance of prey probably explains why it was so healthy and colorful this year.

linuxman-S. montana is extremely difficult to find here in the states as well, but a good amount of the larger collections now have them. I'm hopeful this plant will become common in collections throughout the world in the near future, and it's just a matter of time when someone goes through all the headache to get plants to Europe. Interestingly, this species seems easier to grow than S. purpurea ssp. purpurea.

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Mike, it looks like its ready to divide to me.I find they go a bit smaller when they are multiple crowned.

So it could grow larger when divided and settled back in.

There are a few seed grown plants around in europe now,but some are slow to grow.The ones i have are pretty quick though so there should be some spares around.

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Daniel-that's a great potential cultivar name, haha

Ada-thanks for the tip, and great to hear there are some good montana genetics starting to circulate in Europe. I have been trying to divide these things for a while now, but rarely can I get a division with roots at this stage.

There's a main rhizome that grows vertically like a cephalotus, as opposed to your typical Sarracenia rhizome, which grows horizontally. Several side growths emerge from that rhizome, even flowering sized pieces. The catch is, the large side shoots have a very short rhizome, and when you snap them off the main growth point, they typically don't have roots.

You end up with a growth point with a lot of adult pitchers and even potentially a flower bud, but no roots! Since the plant is out of "balance", if you don't cut most of the leaves off, it will become dehydrated. Unfortunately, Cutting off the leaves also sets back the plant a bit.

Nice thing is they root very easily since the plant is so healthy, but the tough part is they get uprooted very easily since there is very little at the base of the division to keep it in the medium. Having roots to begin with makes things so much easier since the plant is anchored in place and can get a head start in growth.

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Mike, i totally agree with you about dividing them,very difficult to get roots sometimes.

But,i have a tom's swamp form from seed that all i have got is tiny rootless (bud like) divisions and 95% of these have rooted and grown given time.These divisions(11 at least)are out there so some people must have a spare or two by now.

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The traps were filled with rotting flies, and the juice spilled all over me...UGH! The over-abundance of prey probably explains why it was so healthy and colorful this year.

UGH! is right. Nothing worse than transporting some purps with full stomachs only to find that at some point during the journey they have puked all over the carpets in your vehicle....

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Ada-I believe the Tom's swamp population in Georgia (the only S. montana population in that state) had a recent genetic bottleneck effect.

The story I read indicated a well-intended "care-taker" of the bog used full strength fertilizer on most of the plants in the population, which caused a massive decline in the once decent sized population. Of the remaining plants that survived the fertilizing, Atlanta Botanical Gardens was able grow out a new population from 18 (?) seed pods collected from the site, and I believe they grew the seeds in vitro to speed things up.

That site was re-planted with the resulting offspring many years later, and much of the brush was cleared out due to woody encroachment. I hear that today, the site is healthy, although a bit shaded. Most of these montane sites will be shaded out without human intervention-within 1-2 years, a field can turn into thick, dense brush. 3-4 years later, that same field can become the starting of a forest....it's insane how fast the competing vegetation grows out there! Perhaps the overall increase in nitrogen in the air due to our extensive use of fossil fuels is contributing to speeding up the growth of vegetation up there.

Anyways, I wonder if this genetic bottleneck effect at "Tom's Swamp" has had a direct imact on the vigor of plants that are in cultivation that originally came from this population? I'm quite confident that this giant, vigorous plant photographed above came from either north or south carolina, although I don't know for sure. Anyone have a vigorous S. montana from Tom's swamp?

Stephen-thanks for the great tip-sounds like what orchid growers do!

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