Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sarracenia 'Boob Tube' x open-pollinated

Here is a shot of a first-year seedling, at about 8.5 months old, to be exact. It is an open-pollinated 'Boob Tube', from a batch of seeds I got from Wes Buckner. I have probably a dozen seedlings from this batch of seeds. I also have approx. 8 plants from my own open-pollinated 'Boob Tube'. They are all 3 years old, so it has been interesting comparing the ones I got from Wes to my own. For the most part, my set of plants are more upright-growing than the ones I got from Wes. Most of the ones I got from Wes are prostrate and resemble S. psittacina. At this point, this particular seedling is my favorite because it looks very close to S. psittacina. Regardless of pitcher shape, every other seedling of Wes' or my my own seeds has an open lid, however, this one's lid remains closed with just a small, tubular opening, just like S. psittacina. I don't know what the parents of 'Boob Tube' are, or if anyone even knows, but it looks to have S. minor and S. psittacina as parents, and probably something else too, perhaps S. purpurea.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Winding Down

Sadly, the end of summer is fast approaching. Being in WI, means that the first frost is probably not that far away. I don't know when our earliest frost date is, the record is probably some time around now, average is probably another month or so. I know last year we had a big snow sometime around Oct. 7th, although it warmed up again after that. It's been a good year for the Sarracenia this year. I should be able to divide a bunch of my first cohort of "seedlings" (those in their 3rd year), next spring, for trading or I may try a few on Ebay just to see how much they go for, for curiosity's sake. I have too many seedlings to count from those that I started at the beginning of the year. Many are starting to show their true colors - I will try and get some pics up of the best of them here at some point. I also have started harvesting seeds - 3 pods so far with the rest at least a couple of weeks away. I can't wait to get them stratifying, as I only have 1 plant right now that is my own cross - everything else is either open-pollinated, or other people's crosses. I still hope to get my hands on some other people's seeds too.

As of now, the plants are still sending up their late summer pitchers, although the amount of daylight really goes downhill this time of year, so they don't get as much coloration as they would in the summer. That's kind of a bummer, there's a few plants that are sending up their first large pitchers, and I'm curious to see how they look, color-wise. One of my 'Abnorma' plants has recently sent up a very tall pitcher, too bad it will probably stay mostly green.

I'm also starting to think about what I will do with all of them this winter. As I've posted earlier, the mature ones I've been keeping in my garage, while the youngsters I move into a greenhouse after a little taste of the cold. While this has largely been successful, I'm always paranoid about losing a bunch. I've been contemplating the fridge method, but first I have to buy a fridge. I've also contemplated building some kind of insulated enclosure in the garage, with some lighting inside it to keep the temps up. Federal funding for the lab I work in is in jeopardy after this fiscal year, so now is not the time for any costly projects. I may be unemployed by next summer!