Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Storm vs. Sarracenia

My Sarracenia are very much at the mercy of the elements. My growing area is not really protected from anything – luckily for the plants, the San Francisco Bay Area has a very mild climate. It almost never freezes, and the hottest days are rarely much higher than 90 degrees F (32 C). However, the winds around here can be fairly strong, and when we get one of our rare storms they can get very strong. This can be bad news for Sarracenia, depending on the species/cultivar.

This Sarracenia flava var. cuprea probably suffered the most damage, having produced, as it did, a very tall, skinny pitcher.

Sarracenia flava var. cuprea all bent over.
S. flava var. cuprea got that lean.
It's not broken, but it doesn't want to stand up again. The flower is also alive, just all bent over.

The flower on my Sarracenia alata "red throat" was, alas, less fortunate.

Broken Sarracenia alata flower.
Poor broken S. alata flower.
Of course, seeing as I'm not doing any sort of crosses this year I'm not all that concerned with the disposition of the flowers.

My Sarracenia 'Abandoned Hope' faces a peculiar problem. Because I haven't potted it into something larger (it's still in the 4-inch pot from California Carnivores) it doesn't have a very heavy base. Combine that with large, sail-like pitchers, and even if the pitcher tubes don't break it keeps falling over (see the first picture in this post). I had to reposition it in the corner.

Sarracenia 'Abandoned Hope'.
The color continues to deepen on this plant.
Should be safe there.

I also had some leaning in my large Sarracenia oreophila and in the Sarracenia ×moorei, but I think that was mostly due to excess water buildup. I shook the water out and both of those plants seem fine.

My good old Sarracenia flava var. maxima proves that the pitcher lid is good for something. The intact pitcher had very little water buildup, while the pitchers with damaged or totally removed lids were filled almost to the top.

Sarracenia flava var. maxima.
I love looking down the pitcher tubes.
Luckily this plant, while sufficiently tall to be elegant, is also sufficiently stocky to be strong. It really is an excellent clone.

I also got a few more gallons of rainwater out of this storm, so there's that at least.

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