In the last post I mentioned that I was making hybrids with some of my pitcher plants. The process is a little klunky, and it typically takes a minimum of three years for plants to approach maturity. So why bother?

Here’s why I bother. Below are siblings from a single cross made by Rob of The Sarracenia Project blog, some plants of which he sent me a few months ago. It’s one cross, but just look at all the subtle–or not so subtle–variations from one plant to another. Traits from one parent combine with traits from the other. Sometimes one parent dominates, sometimes you see a perfect fusion of the two. Although the plants aren’t yet mature, they’re starting to show the characteristics they’ll carry on to adult-hood.

The parents are Sarracenia Bug Bat–photos of which you can view [ here ] at the really swell Carnivorous Plant Photo Finder site–and S. Diane Whittaker, viewable [ here ]. This is a complex cross, but the species that push their presence forward most are the extravagant S. leucophylla [ photos here ] and the stern and slightly sinister S. minor [ photos here ].

I don’t know about you, but I like to just stare at the plants and observe how the family traits express themselves. Additionally, most hybrids look different as the seasons change. Right now the final three are my favorites, but I’m looking forward to how these plant will develop though the summer and fall. Thanks for the hours of fun, Rob!

7 thoughts on “diversity”

  1. These plants are everlastingly intriguing. I can imagine that you look forward to every season with these. So many shapes and postures and you’ve displayed the photos Warholishly. I’d frame ’em,…or wallpaper?

  2. Have you ever tried drying your pitcher plants? I’ve bought them that way, but have always wondered if that’s one of those “Don’t try this at home” kinda things.

  3. Sue, love your Warhol comment. It picks up on what fascinates me with these. They’re all the same, but different.

    Susan, I can hear the frustrated insects now…

    Ricki, hours and hours of amusement, for sure…

    Colleen, I haven’t tried to dry them, but the classic technique I’ve read is to take fresh pitchers and fill them with sand to maintain their shape. I think that collection pressures have reduced some of the wild populations because of it. But there’s no harm in doing your own plants.

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