Category: General Plant Info

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

A trip to Butterfly Valley (aka Darlingtonia country!)

You may be surprised to learn that I’ve never seen wild carnivorous plants before this trip! California is a huuuuge state, and the nearest wild habitat to me is about 3.5 hours away by car.

Sometimes I’m envious of my friends in the Midwest and the South, who seem to be surrounded by bogs filled with sundews, plushy sphagnum and pitcher plants galore. The nearest wild growing carnivores are in their backyard or a short walk away. But then I remember I live in California. Ahh, trade-offs.

But last week I finally made the trip to Butterfly Valley Botanical Area! It’s hard to keep my mouth shut about how truly amazing it was, but I’ll try to let the photos do most of the talking. 🙂

First sign!

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

Second sign! We were glad these were here. We had no idea if the area was going to be marked, if the plants would be visible from the road, or if we’d have to hike for miles.

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area
This was the trailhead where we stopped and got out. The pamphlets read that the Butterfly Valley Trail was a two-mile loop that would come to a meadow filled with pitcher plants. The husband and I aren’t super avid hikers, but two miles didn’t seem like a big deal.
Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

 

This is the sign that gave me chills in the middle of the day while it was 95 F degrees out.  We walked maybe 1/10th of a mile when we came to this.

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

 

As the trail continued past this sign, the first meadow looked to be nothing but a grassy field. As we kept walking, the second meadow area didn’t look like much from the trail either. It kept nagging at me, though, so I went off the trail for a closer look.

And there they were!

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

The live Darlingtonia in this first area seemed small, and highly outnumbered by last season’s dead growth. The ground also felt dryer than I expected.

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

 

This little guy had the reddest coloring we saw on any plants there. Nearly all other pitchers were completely green. Some had a decent amount of reddish tone on the head and tongue, but no pure red tongues like this one.

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

 

We kept exploring the meadow and noticed the pitchers definitely got bigger where the ground was wetter.

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

 

Lots of lovely Darlingtonia flowers too!

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

Around this point, I started hunting for sundews. I knew there were Drosera in Butterfly Valley, and possibly pings.

Initially, they were easy to miss unless you were specifically looking for them.

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

Drosera rotundifolia, I’m guessing? At first they seem pretty localized to this one slightly muddy patch.

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

But then I found my meandering husband, told him I found them, and tried leading him to this same muddy patch, but found a different one.

Every speck of red is a sundew!

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

 

We continued on. The ground got muckier and the plants got amazinger.

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

I’m pretty sure I said, “HOLY SHIT” loud enough for the whole valley to hear when I saw these sundews. Have you ever seen Drosera look happier and dewier?

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

Happy, red sundews as far as the eye can see!

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

 

And can’t get enough cobras, of course!

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

Also, some kind of gorgeous lily! Can anyone identify it?

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

 

I can’t even begin to describe how surreal it was to see Darlingtonia growing wild. Not just to see them, but to be surrounded by them. I’d kneel down to take a picture of one. After lowering the camera, I’d look to my right and see tons more pitchers. Then I’d looked to my left and see more.

I’m not a religious or spiritual person, but it was a deeply moving experience for me. Imagine what it was like for the first botanists to find them! Seeing these strange plants in the wild, taking samples back, opening them up and examining their contents. Then coming to the realization that these plants are eating.

Also just as an interesting side note, I’m one of those people that gets eaten alive by biting insects and has awful allergic reactions to them. Aaaand we forgot the bug spray! I expected to become a miserable, itchy mess of hives, but I wasn’t! I left the trip with only two bites. Silently, I’m thanking the carnivores for protecting me.

That about wraps Butterfly Valley and my first trip to see wild carnivores! As a little bonus, here are some other interesting flowers and plant life from the area. Of course, I don’t know most of them.

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

Butterfly Valley Botanical Area

butterfly-valley-carnivorous-plants-2016-1

butterfly-valley-carnivorous-plants-2016-2

Thank you all for reading! Any chance you get to experience carnivorous plants in their wild homes, DO IT! Seeing the Darlingtonia and Drosera living happily with no human hand involved was worth the whole trip for me. 🙂

The husband and I are hoping to visit North Carolina at some point, so wild Dionaea might be next!

Thanks again for reading! See you next time!

Carnivorous pitcher plant flower. Sarracenia "Hummer's Hammerhead".

How to tell if a Sarracenia flowers is pollinated

This will be a quick post, but one that I hope is useful to you readers! Sarracenia  are among the easiest carnivorous plants to hand-pollinate and hybridize. With patience and care, it’s fairly simple to create a brand-new, genetically unique plant. Many growers have registered their hybrids named after their spouses, children, or in remembrance of people who passed away. It’s quite romantic, actually!

Hand-pollinating Sarracenia is a pretty simple process. This post from The Pitcher Plant project explains it really well. In this post, I’m only looking to expand on Brooks’ information a bit and provide some more visuals!

So it can be a good six months or more between pollinating the flowers and harvesting the seeds. That’s a long time of not knowing! The clues are the ovary of flower. Go back up and read the post I linked above if you have no idea what I’m talking about!

After the pollen is spent, and all the flower petals drop, you’ll be able to see the ovary clearly.

This is what a pollinated ovary looks like:

Pollinated Sarracenia flower by The Carnivore Girl

Notice the ovary is round and covered in a scaly texture. It’ll start to look like this about a month after pollinating. By early fall, it’ll start turning brown.

To compare, here is an un-pollinated ovary:

Sarracenia flower un-pollinated by The Carnivore Girl

Notice how the shape is more sunken-in and not as round as the pollinated ovary. It also has a smoother texture, and not the bumpy surface.

Final notes:

  • Just because a flower was pollinated, doesn’t mean it’ll produce viable seed, if any seed at all. I’ve cracked open swollen ovaries to find big, fat nothing inside. Sometimes, you gotta try more than once, if you know what I mean.
  • Deformed flower parts, and trying to pollinate past the fertile window will decrease your chances of successful pollination.
  • Timing is pretty important. Flowers have a very short fertility window after opening. I’d say you want to pollinate no more than two weeks after flowers are fully open and dropping pollen.
  • If you apply pollen to all five stigmas, and do so several times, your odds of getting seed is pretty good.
  • If you have lots of natural pollinators like bees, you may have some surprises on your hands! Some people like the control of hand-pollinating, but unknowns  are fun too.

If you’re new to pollinating Sarracenia flowers, I hope this post has been helpful to you! Please share it via the buttons on the left if you think other people will find it helpful too. 🙂

Catch you next time!

Maria, owner of TheCarnivoreGirl.com

2015 in Review: My First Full Year of Plant Blogging!

And we’re at the end of another year! What a fun, plant-filled year it was. I enjoyed looking back while doing my 2014 Year in Review post exactly one year ago, so why not make it a tradition? Here’s a quick recap of  adventures in 2015! Make sure you read through the end… I have some big news to kick off 2016!

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Sarracenia. North American pitcher plant.

Sarracenia Insanity! My pilgrimage to the Asylum

If you’ve searched carnivorous plants online at all, you may have come across a blog known as The Pitcher Plant Project. My pal Rob Co is the owner of said blog, and the greenhouse in which he houses his plants is affectionately known as The Asylum (I love it!). My friend Megan is also a friend of Rob’s and visited the area last weekend! The three of us got together and spent a few hours in carnivorous plant insanity paradise!

It’s been a dream for me to visit a personal collection like at the Asylum since I first got into carnivorous plants. Please enjoy my MANY photos from the visit below!

Read more

Start ’em young! 5 Carnivorous plant books for kids!

Many people first experience carnivorous plants as kids. For a few, the fascination never leaves and carries into adulthood. Others return to the hobby as adults after a long hiatus and maybe having their own kids!

It’s never to early to learn about nature’s coolest and most curious plants! Check out these five carnivorous plant books for kids at various reading levels, and consider them for the young savage gardener in your life!

1. Hungry Plants 

hungry-plants

I really like the illustration style in this book too! Check out the picture below of a Heliamphora with a dinosaur!

hungry-plants-heliamphora-dinosaur

Who knows if Heliamphora really was the same plant back then, but it is cool to think about!

 

2. Plants Bite Back!

plants-that-bite-back

Plants Bite Back! is an older publication (1999) but the basic facts offered are still relevant. This book covers carnivorous plants as well as cacti and other plants with curious evolutionary defenses.

 

3. Plants That Eat Animals

plants-that-eat-animals

A book with large, full-color photographs and great basic information on Venus flytraps, bladderworts, sundews, and more! This is considered ideal for 5-6 year olds.

 

4. Venus Flytraps

venus-flytraps

This book is all about the Venus Flytrap! It includes a “For Adults” section with activity ideas to do with their kids! This another older book (published 1998) but still full of relevant information! It even has a glossary for pronouncing more difficult words!

 

5. Flytraps! Plants That Bite Back

flytraps-plants-that-bite-back

Despite the  title, this book also covers sundews, bladderworts, and cobra plants! What’s even cooler is this book supports a UK-based charity focused on improving literacy and science education for kids!

I hope you enjoyed this selection of children’s books! Got any more for me? Let me know in a comment below!

Even If you don’t have kids, share this posts with parents you know who want to give their kids an early interest in science!

Parents and adults! Looking for carnivorous plant books to read yourself? Check out the books page!

Looking to buy carnivorous plant seeds? Read this before you get scammed!

I’ve seen this happening a lot recently, and it’s super disappointing. More like downright shitty.

New growers often want to try growing carnivorous plants from seed, which is great! They look online and buy some cheap seeds without a second thought. If the seeds grow at all, they are usually not the plant the seller claimed it to be.

I feel really sad when looking through the #venusflytrap hashtag on Instagram and see an excited post from a new grower captioned with “Look, my Venus flytrap seeds are growing!”,and more often than not, the plant is not a Venus flytrap at all.

It’s an intentional, age-old business model to sell cheap substitutes to people who don’t know any better. And it doesn’t just apply to handbags!

In this post, I’ll be showing you how to spot and avoid the scammy sellers, and where to buy legitimate carnivorous plant seeds! Here are the main clues you should look for when buying seeds.

1. Pictures

Many listing use stock photos of plants. Beware of photos that contain orchids or other non-carnivorous plants, such as these.

$_57 (1)

 

Beware of listings that also show a “mix” of carnivorous plants, advertising a mix of seeds. No carnivorous plants from different genera should have their seeds mixed together, ie: sundews, Sarracenia, and Nepenthes. They all have different requirements and no seller worth their salt would mix the seeds. The seller is simply lying.

In this photo, the colors of the pinguicula (middle left) and sundew (lower right) have been photoshopped. They are not naturally those colors, and the sellers are intentionally being deceptive.

$_57 (2)

 

Seriously? It’s like they’re not even trying with this. (All these photos ARE pulled from actual Ebay auctions!)

$_12

 

You should also have an idea of what the seeds you’re looking for look like. This is an image from an Ebay listing claiming they are Venus flytrap seeds. I am 100% certain they’re not. $_571

The images below are actual Venus flytrap seeds from Flytrapcare.com. You can see how they are shiny, black, rounded at one end and pointy at the other, not uniformly rounded like the photo above. They are also extremely tiny.

Flytrapcare.com
Venus flytrap seeds – Flytrapcare.com
Flytrapcare.com
Venus flytrap seeds – Flytrapcare.com
Drosera capensis seeds
Drosera capensis seeds
Nepenthes seeds. Sarracenia.com
Nepenthes seeds. Sarracenia.com
Sarracenia seeds. CPPhotofinder.com
Sarracenia seeds. CPPhotofinder.com

 

2. Price & amount of seeds

100 seeds for under $1.00 is usually BS and too good to be true. A pack of Venus flytrap seeds is usually between $10 and $15 for 15-30 seeds. Sarracenia seeds are usually sold in 15-30 seeds per pack as well. Most sundew seeds are extremely tiny and estimated in amounts of 50-100 (unless it’s a rare species). Sundew seeds will also be among the cheapest at $2 to $5 per pack.  Drosophyllum and Roridula seeds are among the few often sold in small lots of 5 or 10. Nepenthes seeds are sold in pods, and prices will vary depending on the value of the species.

3. Location

You can bet on seeds from China and Hong Kong being completely fake. Even for a cheap price, it’s simply not worth the risk. Some sellers in the US and UK will also scam you, so read the language carefully in the listing and look for certain red flags.

If you see this photo, do not buy the seeds.
If you see this photo, do not buy the seeds.

4. Language

Here are a few headlines from eBay auctions that would make me steer clear from those listings:

  • Carnivorous Plants Seeds Mega Mix 420+ seeds (Drosera, Nepenthes, Sarracenia) (this seller is advertising a mix of seeds, which is a huge no-no.)
  • 100 pcs catching plant enchantress Carnivorous desk Pot Bonsai seeds (this doesn’t even make sense. Enchantress? Desk? Bonsai? None of those words belong in a carnivorous plant seed listing)
  • 10 X Dionaea Muscipula Giant Clip Venus Flytrap Seeds Bonsai Plants Flower Seeds (Again, the word Bonsai doesn’t belong in there, and I don’t know what the word “Clip” is referring to)

If seeds are being advertised as “fresh”, look for a collection date. If there isn’t one, you should be highly suspicious. If you contact the seller, they should be able to tell you.

 

So where can legit carnivorous plant seeds be bought?

First, I recommend joining the International Carnivorous Plant Society. Though joining, you gain access to their seed bank and support carnivorous plant research and conservation. The North American Sarracenia Conservancy also has a seed bank available to members, though I’m unsure if it’s currently updated.

You can also check in with your local carnivorous plant society! See if they have a seed bank, or if any other members want to trade seeds at meetings. We at the BACPS just started holding informal meetups to swap propagation material! Encourage your local society to do the same!

There are also many online communities where members are happy to give, trade, or sell seeds. Some of the most active are listed below.

Finally, you can also purchase seeds from the many online carnivorous plant retailers. Here is a list organized by country. 

Keep in mind that many temperate plant species are available seasonally. Venus flytrap seeds are just approaching harvest season in the northern hemisphere (June through August) and more will be available for sale in the late summer/early fall months. Sarracenia seeds will be available in the fall to early winter months. Tropical sundew seeds like Drosera capensis are more likely to be available year round. Nepenthes seeds are generally harder to come by, due to needing a male and female plant to cross-pollinate.

I hope this post helps you in your search for carnivorous plant seeds! I try to keep my cool but it’s honestly frustrating to see so many new growers get led astray by these scams. Please do your research and have a healthy amount of skepticism! When in doubt, ask people in the online communities if they have experience or opinions of a particular seller.

Have you ever accidentally bought fake seeds? Is there anything else people should look out for? Leave me a comment with your experience!

Also please share this post so more people are aware of the scams and learn to get their seeds from better sources. Thank you! 😀

Veins on the hood of a Sarracenia pitcher plant hybrid

A Sarracenia Score at the Carnivorous Plant Show & Sale!

Earlier this month, I attended my first ever BACPS Show & Sale, and what a fun time it was! The sales area was packed, and some vendors were pretty low on inventory by the time I arrived.

Phil Faulisi, the Sarracenia breeder who created “Saurus”, and sold it for over $1,000, had a mostly bare table when I walked up, and was marking his remainders at half off. One S. minor hybrid had a sticker that read “FREE”. I asked if it was REALLY free, and Phil said yep! I scooped that one up fast! It’s not one of his creations, but a large and beautiful plant nontheless! I’m happy to accept a master’s breadcrumbs!

Check out the veins and those spots on this beauty!

Veins on the hood of a Sarracenia pitcher plant hybrid

New pitcher forming on Sarracenia minor hybrid

Sarracenia minor hybrid. North American Pitcher Plant.

I also got this adorable Sarracenia “Bug Bat” from Predatory Plants! I’ve seen photos online and didn’t think much of it, but fell in love after seeing it in person! I had no idea it had pink spots (also called windows). And the chubby pitcher shape is just too cute.

Sarracenia "Bug Bat". Carnivorous North American pitcher plant.

Sarracenia "Bug Bat". Carnivorous North American pitcher plant.

Sarracenia "Bug Bat". Carnivorous North American pitcher plant.

 

When I repot for next year, I think I’ll put “Bug Bat” and my “Godzuki” (picture below) in the same pot! Their pitcher forms are pretty similar and I think they’d make a monstrously good duo! 😉

Sarracenia x "Godzuki" Carnivorous North American pitcher plant hybrid.

Back to the show! Mike Wang was also selling plants and I knew I had to buy something from him.  I debated  for a while on his flava var. ornata “Black Veins”, which I’ve been wanting for a long time BUT! I have several flava variations and hybrids at the moment, and wanted to add something different to my collection.

Finally, I remembered I don’t have a huge variety of Sarracenia purpurea, and so bought a big clump of S. montana! The full name and data of this one is Sarracenia montana F1 Transylvania Co., NC.

Sarracenia purpurea var. montana F1 Transylvania Co., NC.

Sarracenia purpurea var. montana F1 Transylvania Co., NC.

Yes, I unpotted the clump and divided it up a bit. I know this is sacrilege to some, but I wanted to get rid of dead leaf matter in the center (don’t want to give potential mealybugs anywhere to hide!). Some of the pitcher were getting squished too, so I wanted to give them room to grow and really inflate.

That’s all I got from the sale! A nice mini-haul, and I’m happy I had some self-control, haha!

Here are some more photos from the event! Look at all those plants for sale!

BAPCS-show-sale-2015 (3 of 9)

 

Phil Faulisi with his mostly bare table. If I had known he could be bribed with good beer, I would’ve come more prepared! 😉 That is an Anderson Valley Bourbon Barrel Stout he’s holding.

BAPCS-show-sale-2015 (1 of 9)

The awesome pygmy sundew garden submitted to the show by Mr. Sundews-etc! Devon took a lot more photos of show than I did, which you can see here! 

Pygmy sundew garden

Sarracenia. North American pitcher plants.

Stunning Nepenthes spectabilis

Pinguicula Pirouette and frog.

Drosera ordensis, a sundew in the Petiolaris-Complex.

Sarracenia. North American pitcher plants.

I was unsure of submitting plants to the show initially, but I definitely plan on submitting at least some flytraps next year! Who knows, maybe I’ll even be crazy enough to have a vendor table next year! We’ll see how things are at The Carnivore Girl HQ at that point. 😉

Thanks for viewing folks! Were you there? What kind of plants did you get? Let me know in a comment!

Urban Jungle Bloggers

Who’s Even Crazier Than Me? Read a Few of my Favorite Plant Blogs!

In case you didn’t know, I’m not the only blog out there. Yes, it’s shocking! There are lots of fantastic plant blogs out there and I wanted to share a few of my favorites with you today! Not all of these are strictly carnivorous plant blogs, though many do include carnivores in their content. I like pretty pictures and learning new things, so I picked this handful of blogs due to their eye candy and wealth of knowledge! Prepare to “Oooh” and “Aaah” and have your mind blown all at the same time!

 

In Defense of Plants

In Defense of Plants Blog and Podcast
Image by In Defense of Plants

In Defense of Plants is an excellent blog and podcast that is a HUGE wealth of knowledge about plants! Matt discusses everything from evolution, reproduction, conservation, relationships with other plants and fungi, and more. Each post is packed with information that plant nerds go crazy over. I’d never thought I’d be so fascinated by mustards, mosses, and everything in between! Did I also mention the photos are amazing?

 

The Horticult

The Horticult
Image and Design by The Horticult

The Horticult is where gardening and plant geekery meets modern design! Chantal and Ryan show how they’ve turned their modest space in Southern California into a beautiful plant-filled oasis! They’ve got carnivores, succulents, herbs, veggies, house plants, and more! I’ve already gathered tons of inspiration from this blog for when I actually have a yard and a house with more windows!

 

Urban Jungle Bloggers

Urban Jungle Bloggers
Image by Urban Jungle Bloggers

Urban Jungle Bloggers is not a single blog, but actually a blog community focused on the experience of living with plants. Whether inside your home or anywhere in an urban space, UJB connects plant enthusiasts on the internet through a monthly theme chosen by the founders Judith and Igor. It’s tons of fun seeing other bloggers’ plants and their interpretation of the theme! Check out my first UJB post: Plant Gangstas! Anyone can join, and in my humble opinion, we need more carnivorous plant bloggers representing! 😉

 

Peter D’Amato’s Blog

Dionaea Muscipula Dormancy.
Dionaea Muscipula Dormancy. Image by California Carnivores.

Author of The Savage Garden and founder of California Carnivores nursery, Peter D’Amato started a blog late last year. It’s not updated super often, but I love Peter’s writing style and love that we can continue reading from him and learning more! Each post so far has been chock-full of valuable tips!

 

Sundews Etc.

Drosera venusta
Drosera venusta. Image by Sundews Etc.

Devon is the Sundew man! His love for the Drosera genus goes deep and it shows in his writing and collection photos. I’ve learned a lot about sundew cultivation and propagation from him! He also grows Pinguicula, Sarracenia, Utricularia, and may even be coming around more to Dionaea thanks to yours truly! 😉

 

Natch Greyes

Nepenthes izumiae x trusmadiensis. Image by Natch Greyes
Nepenthes izumiae x trusmadiensis. Image by Natch Greyes

Natch Greyes is one of most well-known carnivorous plant growers on the east coast, thanks to his blog! He’s full of knowledge and has authored two books so far on carnivorous plants! He’s also got a great little online nursery, from where I purchased my first Utricularia and highly, highly recommend! Look out soon for my review of his second book, Cultivating Carnivorous Plants!

 

The Pitcher Plant Project

the-pitcher-plant-project
Image by The Pitcher Plant Project.

Rob Co’s blog, The Pitcher Plant Project was one of the earliest carnivorous plant blogs that is still around! His one true love (besides his wife and adorable kids) is Sarracenia! His greenhouse is called the Asylum (I love it!) and houses seemingly thousands of Sarracenia! Rob’s also a talented photographer and never takes any photos that are less than stunning. He posts his own plants as well as visits to other savage gardens, nurseries, and wild plant sites.


Thanks for checking out some of my favorite plant blogs! Hopefully you learned some new things and didn’t make too much of a mess with your drool. If you loved these blogs, share this post and give these hard-workin’ bloggers some more traffic!

I’d love to know your favorite plant blogs too! Let me know in a comment. 😀

 

Propagate Pinguicula from leaf pullings just like succulents!

Recap of Carnivorous Plant Goals 2015!

Remember back in January, I made a post called Carnivorous Plant Goals for 2015? It’s now three months later! Time to look back and see what goals I’ve met, what I still need to reach, and if any have changed priority at all!

  • Pollinate flowers and (hopefully!) harvest some seeds. I haven’t done this yet. I collected pollen from my Judith Hindle x flava var. atropurpurea, which is now sitting in my fridge. The only flowers really available to pollinate are my “Hummer’s Hammerhead”. My “Godzuki” produced a flower too, but it honestly looks pretty wonky and I doubt it’s fertile. I haven’t seem any pollen drop from the anthers at all. Can anyone in the peanut gallery confirm or deny the sterility of S. x Godzuki? In any case, it’s been windy here lately and I’m not sure if I missed the ideal pollination window. But I will attempt pollination as soon as I’m able!
The flower of a carnivorous North American pitcher plant. (Sarracenia Judith Hindle x flava var. atropurpurea.)
Pretty Judith Hindle x flava var. atropurpurea flower.
Sarracenia x Godzuki unusual flower
Weird, wonky Godzuki flower
Sarracenia seedlings growing under indoor light. Click to learn more!
Lynda Butt x (moorei x flava var. atropurpurea) seedling. I’m a proud mama.
  • Propagate leaf pullings from pinguicula. Another heck yes! I will have a more in-depth post about my pings soon, but I’ve had successful strikes from my P. ‘Sethos’ and P. esseriana plants. I also took pullings from my P. laueana which were not successful. I imagine they got too wet and rotted. I unfortunately lost a couple of pings to rot recently, due to heavy rain and not protecting them enough. 🙁 Always a bummer to lose plants, but I’m thrilled with seeing little plantlets!
Propagate Pinguicula from leaf pullings just like succulents!
Successful P. Sethos pulling!

 

  • Acquire some new “higher end” clones. I’m getting there! Rob Co was awesome enough to offer me some S. “Reptilian Rose” divisions, and I of course said yes! They are small and still adjusting, so no photos quite yet! Of course, now all I can think about are Dionaea “DC XL” and “Werewolf” thanks to my recent adventure to California Carnivores!
  • Shoot more video. This is one of the goals I’m moving to the bottom of my priority list. Still photography is what I know and what I do well, so I’m going to continue focusing on that. Right now I don’t have the desire or time to learn video shooting/editing. However you may see more short, amateur-hour-type video shot from my phone. Because I think I’m funny sometimes. People did seem to get a kick out of my recent Instagram vid! 
  • Make room for more plants! I haven’t yet made any changes to my growing space that would allow for a lot more plants. It’s primarily been shifting things around, squeezing other things together, and just making do with what I have. I haven’t been on any huge buying sprees in the last few months, plus I’m donating divisions here, selling a little there. It’s a delicate equilibrium right now!

Growing carnivorous plants in an apartment

  • More in the store! Yes! I’ve added three new designs to the store this year and support has continued to be awesome! I’ve had requests for more products available like laptop skins, so I’ll be adding those very shortly as well! Remember to sign up for emails to be the first to know about all things going on here in Carnivore Girl Land!
Carnivorous plant pillows
Housewares currently 20% off! Click the image to get yours.

I’m pretty happy I’ve been able to meet several goals on my list already! We’ll see how far I’ve come in three more months. 🙂

How are you doing on your goals for the year? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Venus flytrap cultivar Giant Clam.

Rare Cultivars & Fun Times at California Carnivores Nursery!

California Carnivores is just close enough to me, yet just far away that I have visited the nursery merely three times in nearly six years of growing carnivorous plants. My most recent visit (last Saturday) was special! I got to see Chi’en Lee speak and present his wildlife photography while living in and exploring remote areas of Borneo, The Philippines, Papua New Guinea and more!

Chi'en Lee presenting at California Carnivores

It was a truly entrancing and educational presentation! Even my not-super-enthusiastic-about-weird-plants husband really enjoyed it. Aside from the stunning photos and funny stories, the amount of biodiversity packed into such a small area was astonishing. You can essentially go for a leisurely stroll in the rain forest and it would unusual to not see any new species of something! Whether animal, mineral, or vegetable, there is still so much that is unknown. Chi’en showed several photos of a newly discovered, unnamed species of Nepenthes. Super exciting!

Unfortunately, I was late to the presentation due to bad traffic, and couldn’t get a decent seat until later. AND I didn’t bring my telephoto lens, doh. My one decent shot is above. Most of my shots came out like this:

Chi'en Lee presenting at California Carnivores

Nice shot of the Nepenthes pitcher though, right?

California Carnivores was also having a 20% off sale all day, so I had to shop around after the presentation and mingle with my fellow plant nerds. I met the awesome Sarracenia Dude, finally! We literally saw each other and were like “OMG, Hiiiiiiii!” 😀

I also got to finally meet the lovely Kate Halpin, who’s relocated to the west (best) coast to work at the nursery! So happy you’re here, Kate! 😀 I proudly rocked my butterwort tote bag that she created. 

Devon of Sundews Etc. and I caught up and shot the shit since the last meetup. We also got a private tour of California Carnivores’ propagation areas (thanks again, Daniela!) and saw some not-yet-available Venus flytrap cultivars!

Just one part of the propagation area. Gotta love the high-tech kiddie pools!

California Carnivores propagation area

 

Check out “Werewolf”! This is one I want SO BAD! As far as I know, it’s not available for sale in the US anywhere.

Venus flytrap werewolf cultivar

 

“Giant Clam” with a large, deeply red trap and fringed cilia. Super cool looking!

Venus flytrap cultivar Giant Clam.

 

I believe this one was unnamed, but check out those jagged cilia and red stripe on the side!

Venus flytrap cultivar.

 

It’s hard to get a sense of the size in this photo, but this is the one and only DC XL! Turns out sticking my fingers in the shot doesn’t help. But I never got a sense of the massive size of this cultivar until seeing it in person. This trap was probably as long as my index finger!

Venus Flytrap DC XL cultivar.

 

I imagine the California Carnivores’ staff wouldn’t be too happy with me if I stuck Werewolf or DC XL in my pocket, so here’s what I did come home with!

Pinguicula moranesis J, which I repotted into a Japanese-styled teacup.

Pinguicula moranensis J in a small, Japanese style tea cup.

 

Dionaea muscipula “Fused Tooth”. None of the cilia have fused yet, but I can’t wait to see that later in the season!

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Sarracenia oreophila “Sand Mountain” x leucophylla “Schnell’s Ghost”. I was debating between various red hybrids and almost didn’t see this one. I really like how subtle it is, and looks like it has potentially for some funky lips too!

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And finally Drosera capensis “narrow red leaf.” Two plants  in one pot, plus plenty of Utricularia bisquamata, score! Bonus plants are the best plants. I’ve also been wanting a red or albino capensis for a while to contrast with my typical forms!

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Thanks for reading! Saturday was a really great day, and I’m so glad I got to meet other plant folks in person that I previously only knew on the internet!

Were you there for presentation? What did you think and what plants did you get? Leave me your comments! And let’s meet at the next event if we didn’t get to this time! 😀