Lost genera: the Polypompholyx


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Hi everyone,

I recently borrowed an older book on carnivorous plants by Adrian Slack and in it I found a section on a family of carnivorous plants called Polypompholyx. Apparently the family does not exist any more because it was incorporated into the Utricularia familly. However, there are supposedly some differences between the traps of polypompholyx and those of other Utricularia. Does anybody know more about this lost genera?


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Families and genera are very different things, Utricularia, including those plants which used to be named Polypompholyx, are all in the same family as Pinguicula and Genlisea, the family Lentibulariaceae.

Taylor (1989) reduced the rank of the genus Polypompholyx to sub-genus in his work, 'The Genus Utricularia - a taxanomic monograph'. To put his reasoning fairly simply; whilst the two species the genus Polypompholyx have four, rather than two, calyx lobes, one of the main reasons for putting these plants into a seperate genus was the differences in their trap morphology. With the discovery of U. westonii, which is some ways has intermediate traps, the distinction between the two genera was less distinct and deemed unwarranted, hence they were 'lumped' into the genus Utricularia. There is a bit more to it than that, I suggest you get hold of a copy of Taylor's book for the full discussion.


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Has anyone ever managed to succesfully grow polypompholyx? I have ordered more seed of this species than I can care to remember. I had a single seedling germinate on my very first attempt but it dried up whilst I was on holiday. I have never had any joy since. I will keep on trying!

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