Sunday, March 27, 2016

New camera!

Yesterday I got a new phone, which is to say I got a new camera. I actually got this phone specifically for the camera, because my old phone really struggled to focus on close-up objects. This one does it beautifully! To celebrate, I've created a post of flowers – just the sort of thing I would really struggle to photograph with my old device. Here's to more closeups in the future!

Drosera callistos flower.
Drosera callistos with the lovely orange and black.
Drosera helodes flowers.
I love the adorable dots on Drosera helodes.
Drosera sessilifolia flower.
The focus ended up being on the upcoming bud on this Drosera sessilifolia.
Drosera spiralis flower.
So much for cutting the flower stalk off my Drosera spiralis.
Drosera natalensis flower.
I had to bend this Drosera natalensis stalk away from the lights to get a picture. Lovely!
Utricularia heterosepala flower.
Utricularia heterosepala is a very nice, creamy pink color.
Utricularia lateriflora flower.
Utricularia lateriflora is a wonderful species. So glad I got it!
Utricularia longifolia stealing my heart away with its flowers.
What more can I say about Utricularia longifolia?
Byblis liniflora flower.
Byblis liniflora always looks so unearthly.
Pinguicula laueana × emarginata flower.
I think Pinguicula laueana × emarginata has one of the prettiest flowers in the genus.
Pinguicula gigantea flower.
Pinguicula gigantea is so cheeky.
Pinguicula 'Aphrodite' and Pinguicula emarginata flowers.
Pinguicula 'Aphrodite' and Pinguicula emarginata are just hanging out together.
Whew! That's a lot of flowers!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Why does D. burmannii get caterpillars?

My pot of Drosera burmannii (Gunung Keledang) has been looking sketchy lately.

Drosera burmannii (Gunung Keledang)
Pest-chewed plants always look so sad.
In fact, it's sketchy in a way that I remember. It's a lot like what my old competition pot of D. burmannii (Humpty Doo) looked like when it had a caterpillar. I even noticed some things that look like droppings on the plants. When I realized there was probably a caterpillar somewhere I dug around in the dead leaves at the base of the plants but I couldn't find anything. Anne recommended I just use some Bayer 3-in-1 on it, since the plants don't mind, and the bugs definitely do. Hope it works.

It's probably just coincidence that two separate pots of D. burmannii got a caterpillar. Maybe the shape of the plant is attractive for them. It sucks! I don't want to lose this culture before I get seed!

My nearby pot of the Hann River form is looking ridiculous right now.

Drosera burmannii (Hann River)
It's a really shocking red.
This form gets so red that it messes up my camera. I can't really get pictures of it to turn out right when it looks like this. Also I recently trimmed all the flower stalks, so it's looking funny.

My other form of D. burmannii is from Humpty Doo, and these two volunteers are the final remainders of my once-prized culture.

Drosera burmannii (Humpty Doo)
You can do it little guys.
I should start a fresh pot of these. This is all I have left! After aphids, caterpillars, and bloom-out I guess that's what happens. Still, they can be really amazing when grown well.

Drosera burmannii (Humpty Doo)
Lovely pom-pom.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Outdoor plants indoors

My outdoor growing areas are a real mess. I haven't had the heart to document it all yet (although that's coming soon), but I lost a lot of Sarracenia and other things last year to bad weather and poor planning. I'm working on making my outdoor growing space nicer, but in the mean time indoor growing seems to be just the thing. I've got a few outdoor plants growing indoors under lights for the time being, until I can get my stuff arranged better.

This Drosophyllum lusitanicum from my friend Anne is still small enough that it fits in the tray.

Drosophyllum lusitanicum.
I love when these get big. Fingers crossed!
D. lusitanicum smells of honey! It's really lovely. I hope to have a nice big bush eventually. I'll need to pot it up before then though.

Pinguicula lusitanica seems to be doing fine.

Pinguicula lusitanica.
Not sure pure LFS is the best mix for these guys.
Those little babies look very funny. This is a very annual species. I collected some seed last time – I should sow those on another pot. This would be a great component of an outdoor mixed bog.

It's about time to pot up the antho-free Sarracenia leucophylla seedlings that Anne and I went in on together last year.

Sarracenia leucophylla f. viridescens anthocyanin-free.
I wonder if I'll get mature pitchers this year with a fresh pot-up.
It's a bit hard to tell, but these have put on some size in the last year. I bet if we were to give them room they could get some serious growth on. That would be great!

My Dionaea 'B-52' leaf pulls are looking really fantastic.

Dionaea muscipula 'B-52' Venus flytrap.
I'm not much of a flytrap guy, but this is a show-stopper.
I lost the mother plant, so I'm really glad I have these. Once my outdoor growing area gets settled in I'll take these out there and give them individual pots. This is a truly superior clone. Look at the contrast in color in the foremost trap! Total swoon over here.

Finally, it's not an outdoor plant, but I have to show off my Utricularia longifolia again.

Utricularia longifolia.
I have a crush on U. longifolia.
It's currently got 7 open flowers, and another due to open tomorrow or the day after. The oldest flower has been open for 3 weeks! It's survived me carrying the plant through a sort of windy rainy day to show off to some friends. This is definitely an orchid-like bloom cycle right here. I'm so stoked on it!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Plants in full regalia

Look at this Utricularia longifolia.

Utricularia longifolia.
Three flowers and more on the way!
Just look at it.

Utricularia longifolia.
I'm very proud.
I promised U. longifolia in my last post, and here it is. I love this plant!

Seeing this bloom show (which is far from over, by the way!) had me poking around the collection looking for plants are are in a similar state of full display. Most plants don't look their best 100% of the time, but these ones at least are currently looking spectacular.

Pinguicula 'Aphrodite' has a couple of cute blooms on it.

Pinguicula 'Aphrodite'.
Hey there little guys!
Insanely, I have several friends who claim to not particularly care for this ping cultivar. How can you resist that little plant! It's much too adorable.

This large Drosera prolifera is doing very well, especially considering that I've had to separate out a couple of plants from this pot recently.

Drosera prolifera.
I think any pot of D. prolifera will inevitably end up a clump if it's happy.
The plants don't quite have the color they did in the middle of winter when things were quite chilly in the garage, but they're still looking pretty fabulous.

The plant that really caught my eye today, and which inspired this post (besides the U. longifolia) was definitely my beloved Drosera ×Dork's Pink.

Drosera ×Dork's Pink.
Be still my heart.
This is just incredible. Based on a rough estimate, I'd guess there are upwards of 50 active traps on this plant, perfectly arranged in this beautiful pink spiral.

Nearby, my Byblis liniflora seems frozen in time as this unspeakably delicate assembly of dew.

Byblis liniflora.
This is still the plant that most people notice when they visit my collection.
I keep trying to find a good similie for it. Sort of like a stand of tiny, sticky trees. Or a city skyline. Such a good plant.

One plant I don't mention much, but of which I am very proud, is this Dionaea muscipula 'Justina Davis'.

Dionaea muscipula 'Justina Davis' Venus flytrap.
Penny for scale. Those are big traps!
This is a nice, mature rhizome, as you can see by the trap size. So far it seems to be doing pretty well under my lights. I hope it gets enough of a dormancy in the garage.

Finally, this pot contains my original Drosera capensis, which is to say, my first ever carnivorous plant. I planted it into a large pot, which was a huge mistake, but really, who can resist a mass of D. capensis?

Drosera capensis clump.
It's a jungle in there.
Someday soon I'll probably take this out and divide it all up, but for now it's sorta fun seeing it losing its mind. Looking good there, D. capensis!