Thursday, June 9, 2011

Flowers Up The You-Know-What

The pitcher plants are in full swing, as far as flowering goes. I'm probably around the halfway point, as far as number of flowers that have opened vs. the number that have yet to open. We had a few days of really hot (97F) weather, coupled with very strong sustained winds. I have no idea what kind of effect that is going to have on the crosses I did. It seems 3 days of strong, sustained winds would stir up a lot of the pollen in the flowers and lead to at least some self-pollination, if not cross-pollination. Oh well, I've still been out every day doing my own cross-pollinations. I'll post a complete list when all is said and done, and I'm probably at around 15 right now. Anyway, on to some flower pics:

Unknown Sarracenia hybrid
This is from an unknown hybrid I received from Lois Ochs a year ago, as part of a "grab bag". It is some kind of S. minor hybrid, and based on the flower color, I would guess it's something like S. minor x alata, although it could be something more complex than that. I pollinated it with an open-pollinated alata x flava, which produces mostly all-dark red pitchers.

Sarracenia x 'Fireworks'
These are flowers from 'Fireworks', which is also called 'White Sparkler'. I pollinated one of the flowers with S. oreophila. The other just opened today, so I haven't decided what to do with it yet. I've also used it to pollinate a leucophylla x (leucophylla x flava) and 'Snowflake'.

Sarracenia 'Snowflake'
Speaking of 'Snowflake', here are its flowers. I have 5 all together, with a couple yet to open, I will have a lot of 'Snowflake' crosses this year. Besides the cross with 'Fireworks', one flower was pollinated with an unknown (probably a moorei), and one with oreophila, and has been used as a pollen donor so far on leucophylla x (leucophylla x flava), an unknown flava hybrid, and an anthocyanin-free purpurea x jonesii.

Sarracenia oreophila x purpurea
This nice large pink flower is S. oreophila x purpurea. I've been excited to use this in some crosses, as it produces some very large, heavily veined pitchers. I have yet to pollinate it yet (i will starting tonight), but I've used it to pollinate an oreophila x 'willisii'.

Sarracenia (alata x flava) x open-pollinated
This is the open-pollinated alata x flava mentioned previously. This is flowering for the first time, at 3 yrs from seed. I also have a sibling of it that is about to open its flower. Both produce tall, all-red plants that turn nearly black after a few weeks in the sun. I'm excited to cross these too. The one that is open now has been pollinated by 'Fireworks', and used to pollinate oreophila, 'Godzuki', and the unknown minor hybrid shown above. I'm hoping to use its sibling in a cross with 'Red Sumatra' - that should produce some striking red-pitchered plants.

Sarracenia x 'Medusa'
This is S. x 'Medusa', a plant from Sarracenia Northwest. I have no idea what the parents of this plant could be, other than it does show some S. rubra characteristics - namely weak, floppy spring pitchers followed by stronger, upright late summer pitchers. I've used this to pollinate 'Godzuki' and oreophila x willisii, but never got around to pollinating it with anything. So it will be another open-pollination.

Sarracenia [leucophylla x (leucophylla x flava)] x open-pollinated
Lastly, this is another plant I raised from seed that is flowering for the first time, at 3 yrs of age. It is an open-pollinated leucophylla x moorei. The flower is kind of deformed for some reason, so I decided to not use it in any crosses, and we'll just see if it ends up with any seeds. It's not the greatest looking plant, mainly just tall green pitchers with slight colorations, but being seed-grown, it'll always have a place in my heart.

As I said earlier, the string of hot, windy weather really took a toll as far as watering is concerned. It kind of came out of nowhere and wasn't really forecasted until a day or two before it happened. We had a cool, wet spring, and I really hadn't had to water any of the minibogs at all until this week, and of course, I didn't stock up on water beforehand. So things really got dry, and I actually lost the flowers on 1 plant (BobZ hybrid H2), that was the only casualty though. Even now, the soil in all the minibogs are very dry, all live sphagnum has gone dormant, I've been able to basically just keep things moist enough to prevent wilting. What made things worse was a couple of nights of forecasted rain that didn't pan out. It's supposed to be a cold, rainy day tomorrow, which I'm actually hoping comes true, at least the rain part of it.

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