More carnivores

I’ve rather fallen in love with the carnivores in the limery… not so much the Venus fly traps (which I expected to be very exciting, but are, in fact, fairly dull), but the Sarracenias (pitchers) and Droseras (sundews). These amazing plants are thriving – they have all grown since their arrival and have been working hard, with the sundews being particularly effective at catching small insects and the pitcher consuming the larger flies (houseflies, horseflies etc).

Unfortunately we have had rather a lot of flies indoors this year because the field behind us has had livestock in it for the whole summer. So, despite the pitcher doing its best – with a little help from the Nepenthes tropical pitcher, which needs to be kept in a vivarium to maintain high humidity – we still have rather too many insects for my liking. Which has given me a great excuse to get some more plants (it was always on the cards once the limery was finished). So, let me introduce the four newbies:

Sarracenia purpurea ssp. purpurea - Purple pitcher plant

Sarracenia purpurea ssp. purpurea – Purple pitcher plant

Sarracenia flava - Yellow pitcher plant

Sarracenia flava – Yellow pitcher plant

Sarracenia catesbaei - S. flava x purpurea

Sarracenia catesbaeiS. flava x S. purpurea (hybrid of the two above)

Cephalotus follicularis Albany carnivorous Pitcher Plant

Cephalotus follicularis Albany carnivorous Pitcher Plant

The Sarracenias are bigger plants than the one I originally bought and are in 9cm pots, but should grow significantly bigger. The Cephalotus is very small as yet – only a few centimetres across – but also should get much bigger.

The structure and morphology of all these plants fascinates me. I could spend hours simply looking at them in wonder…

I now can’t remember which of the builders it was who suggested carnivorous plants, but whichever one it was he truly sowed a seed for me…

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  1. It was obviously an inspired suggestion for you. These plants have always fascinated me too.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  2. Ann Laken

     /  August 28, 2015

    We have 2 happy venus’s here – Steve seems to have the knack for looking after them. Or should I say letting them look after themselves. Outside May ish to Oct ish, when they pig out, then into the kitchen over the colder months. Rainwater only, and that’s about it.

    • The Venuses are doing fine – the new traps that are appearing are about twice the size of the old ones, so they must like the conditions (I too am only using rainwater), but somehow they don’t pique my interest in the same way that the pitchers do. Having said that, I love all of them and can imagine getting quite obsessed!

  3. I can see why you love them, they’re quite exotic and alien, beautiful colours.

    • I’m really loving having the chance to grow something so exotic… I’ve never had the chance before and it’s really lovely to be growing things for their own sake rather than just to eat.

  4. What you need is a little Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors. No more flies… Ever! Your pitcher plants are beautiful.

    • In the past few days the original Sarrecenia has caught three quite big flies… it’s currently the best contender to be Audrey II! Must keep my fingers well out of the way when I water it 😉

      • I think it would take a fully grown Audrey II to deal with our insects, which are completely outsized… The geckos and frogs can only deal with so much!

  5. I come from the place where they discovered Cephalotus follicularis! The little fellow has made it halfway around the world. I am sure his mam would be dead proud of him 🙂

  6. Fantastic plants. They have everything going for them — shape, colour and a little macabre. The yellow pitcher plant looks sensational against the blue wall. I think that paint colour was an inspired choice.

    • I’m so pleased with our choice of colour… I did wonder whether it would be a little too dark, butit’s not a problem since the room is mainly glass anyway.
      I am developing a deep fascination with these plants – the veins in them do look remarkably as if they could be carrying blood and the complex shapes are amazing. I wouldn’t have believed I could spend so much time just gazing at a few small plants!!

  7. I remember seeing pitcher plants growing in parts of Little River Canyon in northern Alabama as child. We found them fascinating and would spend part of our swimming time checking to see if anything had been caught. So glad these are successful in your limery.

  8. Kate beat me to the reference to “Little Shop of Horrors”–don’t let those plants get a taste of you!

    • Being very careful not to bleed near them!!
      Amusingly, I did see a a note on one website that I was consulting about their care that they should not be fed cheese. The mind boggles about who might think they would like cheese!

  9. Being that my daughter just played the role of Audrey II last night (coincidence or fate? 😉 ), I hesitate only slightly to endorse carnivorous plants. But, heck, yours are (still) pretty small. Just don’t get *too* close.

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