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Rightfully so, there's a lot of hype behind S. flava x leuco crosses (S. x moorei), but there seems to be less interest and focus on alata x leucophylla crosses, which can be equally astonishing in my opinion. Hopefully, after seeing some of these photos, this might raise a few eyebrows out there and encourage growers to take a look at alata x leuco hybrids.

Let me add a disclaimer: I've seen some absolutely UGLY alataxleuco hybrids in the wild! When breeding, think about using only your best clones to breed with.

At the site we visited in Jackson Co, MS, there were pure S. alatas, S. psittacina, and S. alata x leucos, but no pure leucos. Some of these amazing hybrids were likely the result of complex hybridization. All photos below were taken 9/5/13:

This is what I mean by amazing alata x leuco hybrids!


Another shot:


And in case that one wasn't too impressive, how about this one?


Top view of the same clone:







Now for some mostly pure alatas:





Beautiful bronzy clone:


Another shot:


The variation was endless, and these fields seem to go on for many square miles. We only saw a little piece of it:



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These look like poor victims, but they're actually Exyra moths laying their eggs in the pitcher. In a few weeks, this trap will be infested with larvae that will cause the pitcher to flop over, creating a secure and safe home for the developing larvae:



Axel Bostrom and Damon Collinsworth (in the blue shirt) caught by surprise: it was really hot out there, and it almost looks like they are panting, haha! We're used to the mild climate of california...not the southern oven that bakes all the life out of you:


Quite a few plants didn't produce fall pitchers. This seems to be the case at every Sarracenia site we visited...some sites were worse than others:


Same clone as photographed in the previous post, but with a different camera:


A stunning S. leucophylla plant that looks like alata was mixed in a few generations back:


Same clone, but with Damon in the background, ruining the photo (I got used to that):


Mike: "Damon, dude, you just messed up my photo again"

Damon: It'll turn out fiiiiiiiiine":


Here's a neat white one:


And here's the same clone growing amongst a hybrid swarm. Notice how many of the plants didn't produce fall pitchers. I suspect a few of the plants that didn't produce fall pitchers will likely have brilliant spring pitchers next year:



This reminds me of the highly desireable S. x White Night" clone :


Top view of the same clone:


Plants in situ overview: most of the plants looked like they did well in the summer, but have been burnt out by now:


Another habitat shot:


There was a little creek at this site, which had some short trees shading the area. Plants here were a bit bigger:


This site could use a good burn: the grass is getting really thick there. However, even if you burn this site, by the end of the season, it'll probably still end up with very thick grass like this. we saw sites that were burned and not burned for many years, and they still looked equally as thick:


And to give you an better idea of what the habitat looks like:


Hope you enjoyed the tour!

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Ada-I know what you mean...out in the field, the plants are so amazing, you forget that it's so hot that you want to die :)

Frangelo-absolutely! Still a lot of more photos and stories to post!

Yuri-If I had to guess, since many of the leuco x alata hybrids out there are already complex back-crosses, I'm guessing one parent was leuco x alata and the other parent a S. alata. Taking another guess, the alata might have leuco genes in it to begin with. With that in mind, since the shape is alata dominant, I would guess alata is the pod parent and leuco x alata the pollen parent on the last one. However, This is a shot in the dark, and your guess is as good as mine.

Gardenofeden-glad you enjoyed the pics!

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I don't have your experience in growing plants from seed, so I would have expected at least a leuco x (leuco x alata) cross, due to the very white pitcher. Does a cross like alata x (leuco x alata) could generate such a white pitcher? Doesn't the leuco genes get hidden more and more with such a backcross?

thanks for you answer ;)

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Sure thing Yuri! I'm no expert in hybridization either...I think we're all still learning how it all works.

There's this hypothesis that the mother "pod parent" brings out more dominant features in the offspring (ie. if you use adrian slack as the "mother", you'll get white topped offspring), but I'm finding that genetics are so dyamic that you can't make this assumption.

The set of genes that create the white colors in S. leucophylla are very dominant, so even if you "water down" a leuco cross with S. alata, the white can still "dominate" and show up in the offspring. For example, take a look at the alata below. My guess, based on the shape of the trap, is that this has leucophylla genes hidden in it:


Take the alata above and cross it with this alata x leuco:


and my guess is you'll get a bunch of very beautiful white looking plants. Again, these are all guesses, and the only way to get accurate predictions on what will show up in the offspring is to know the genetic history of both parents.

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  • 4 weeks later...


some nice plants and pictures!

Ada-I know what you mean...out in the field, the plants are so amazing, you forget that it's so hot that you want to die :)

I can only second that ;) The two and half weeks i spent in the southern US this year have certainly been the hottest and most humid days i ever experienced (about 30°C and more with about 90% humidity). Even at night, the temperatures do not really drop. As soon as you get out of your air conditioned car or motel room you are sweating. After a few minutes there is nothing left, that is not wet on your body. You must make sure to drink enough (3-4 litres a day) to keep going. Interestingly, you really forget all that as soon as you are standing in a field of plants...


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