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meizwang

S. leucophylla(and a giant!) at the flava atropurpurea site, okaloosa Co, FL

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My friends Damon and Axel of California Carnivores and I had the opportunity to check out the "flava atropurpurea" site in Okaloosa Co, FL, and while most eyes are on the flavas, my eyes were on the leucos! Not much is heard about, spoken of, or known about gigantic leucophyllas out there, and two years back, we discovered a gigantic plant in Baldwin Co, AL. This year, after seeing 100's of 1000's of S. leucophylla plants in the wild, we happen to stumble upon one gigantic plant! It's tough to see just how big they are in the photographs, but I did my best to give you a sense of just how big these monsters get.

One interesting detail about this site is that it's located in the hills. Who would have thought that sarracenia bogs were found in the middle of a hilly forest?! More details on that in future posts.

While the photographs we took depict a beautiful, tranquil scene, I assure you this is an incredibly hostile environment! Temperatures were near the 100's that day, and we constantly had to go back to the car, turn on the AC, and recover every 2 hours or so. In a lot of places, the grass is so tall you can't see you feet. This habitat is perfect for many deadly and venomous snakes! Every step you take could be your last one, as their teeth are sharp enough to go through hiking shoes and rubber boots. HEat exhaustion is no joke, and we were constantly drenched in sweat. Hiking under such conditions can be dangerous if you don't pay attention to staying hydrated.

It's nice to look back at the photographs in the safetly of your home! For your viewing pleasure, below are photos of S. leucophylla growing in the wild in Okaloosa Co, FL. Photos were taken 9/7/13 and 9/8/13:

The giant S. leucophylla!

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Lynx spider and some love bugs on the giant pitcher:

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Another shot of the giant trap:

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Close up:

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Lynx spider with prey on the gigantic trap:

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Damon Collinsworth in situ with the gigantic plant: one of the rare circumstances where he isn't ruining the photo:

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Mike Wang in situ with the same gigantic plant:

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And now for some other clones at this site-many plants were very white:

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large clumps of the same clone were fairly common here, indicating a happy environment for these plants:

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A nice patch of S. leucophylla:

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Love the bright white!

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top view:

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There were even a few reddish clones:

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A group of plants growing on the hillside. This reminded me a lot of Darlingtonias: they tend to grow where there are seeps. I was always under the impression that they grew all over, but in these hilly habitats, the densest populations were in these "creeks":

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Another habitat shot: notice how the plants are found growing at the botom of two hills:

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Another reddish plant:

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view from the back:

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Very green and white clone:

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Beautiful clump:

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hillside plants:

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Another shot:

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Weird deformed trap:

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Orchids!:

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More photos to come!

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some more photos!

A neat ant and wasp were fighting each other....probably one or the other was trying to defend their home:

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shapely mouth with the very common Lynx spider:

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Another red one:

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leucophylla var. jamban?! isn't this one bizzare?

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Love bugs feasting on the nectar:

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Another shot:

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a little seep filled with plants:

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Nice veins:

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This spider is fat:

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I was surprised to find a S. leucophylla bloom in September. This is usually in response to heat stress, which overcomes the inhibiting compounds that would otherwise prevent the flower primordia from elongating until spring of next year:

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Love this red plant with the spider:

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A white-ish clone:

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Red plants were pretty common here. The red will likely become more intense as the trap ages:

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We found these cute little gecko at the hotel:

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And beautiful sunset (minus the cars and road) to end the day's adventure:

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Very nice! In Alabama you can also see Sarracenia leucophylla in a bit hilly area. At places you get seepage you can see them often in great numbers. One of probably the largest S. leucophylla population just west of Perdido is in a hilly area.

Alexander

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