Wednesday, January 27, 2016

What I've been up to lately (hint: selling gemmae)

For the last couple weeks my pygmies have been producing lots and lots of gemmae. Last year I threw a lot of gemmae out, so this year I determined to do better. I've shared some with friends, and I've also sold a lot of gemmae, mostly via Facebook. Here's what I shipped out this morning!

Gemmae packages being shipped off.
Lots of stuff headed to the post office.
This is a non-trivial amount of work! Last year I learned that gemmae that have been harvested and packetized have an extremely short shelf life, so now I harvest per order. I put on a podcast and it's nice, but it takes time. I don't mind though, because I really like spreading different plants around. It's sort of an insurance policy – inevitably I'm going to lose some plants, and if more people are growing them it will be easier for me to get them back later.

Freshly-harvested pygmies look funny.

Drosera leucoblasta with gemmae.
Drosera leucoblasta with gemmae (and recently-harvested).
I've still got a good amount of gemmae left, including Drosera leucoblasta, Drosera sargentii, Drosera paleacea, Drosera callistos, and Drosera helodes, among others. If you'd like to get some, email me at I've been charging $5 per pack, with $3 for basic shipping, and various options for cold weather. Let me know!

Besides pygmies and gemmae (and pygmies and gemmae and pygmies and gemmae), I've been spending a fair amount of time thinking about utrics lately. My Utricularia longifolia is blooming again!

Utricularia longifolia in bloom.
Blooming U. longifolia. No aphids this time!
I guess this is just the time of year for it. Last year it I first noticed the bloom in mid-February. My clump is a bit more mature now. I should have taken a picture of the bottom of the pot – it's a solid mass of stolons and traps. It's pretty funny. Maybe this year I'll pot this up into a much larger pot – I've been threatening to do that for a while. I gave a chunk to my friend Anne, who will be growing it outside. Interested to see how it does!

I haven't killed my Utricularia cornigera! That's exciting!

Utricularia cornigera.
Brand new leaf! I'm very happy.
As I've mentioned before, this pot had gotten much too dry and had lost all it foliage. However, it still had a big fat stolon, which I buried in the pot once I moved it to a wetter tray. Looks like we've got life now! I should fertilize this a bit once it grows in.

At the recent BACPS meeting I picked up a new tuberous sundew, the delightfully-named Drosera zigzagia.

Drosera zigzagia.
One of the best specific epithets in the genus.
I've gotten a new burst of confidence re: tuberous Drosera since my Drosera ramellosa came back from dormancy. Gotta get all the tubers I can now.

Something more to add to my confidence in growing the summer-dormant species is the fact that Drosera cistiflora is back as well.

Drosera cistiflora.
Arise! Awaken!
There was a little dried out nob on the pot where the old stem had been, and when I flicked it away I exposed this bit of stem to the lights, so it's growing! Now I really really want to get it to flower for me. That would be a real feather in the cap! We'll see.

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