Thursday, March 28, 2013

1st Cactus Flower of the Season...

...Is Parodia werneri ssp werneri (Previously Notocactus uebelmannianus)

I'm hoping the shorter than usual rest season the cacti got this year due to the move was enough for them. Then again, rest periods are probably shorter in their natural habitat then they used to get in NY anyway.

More cacti blooms to come!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Off Topic: Field Trips

I was informed recently, you can get your masters degree in botany in the Philippines. If I wasn't already considering how I could possibly, ever, afford to go back to school (for a CRNA to be an anesthetist, 1st choice) this would be another choice for furthering my education. You know, just for fun. There are worse ways to spend fifty grand than on education, right?

Anyway, a friend sent me this video in an email of Nepenthes close to the summit of Mt. Trus Madi, the same day I learned that I did in fact, want to go to the Philippines to study plants. I'm sure this is not a coincidence. A quick trip to Borneo wouldn't be out of the question if I was going to school in that part of the world. However, there's also the fact that a week trip would cost less than a masters degree. Less long term value, but only maybe.

Or maybe I've just been spending too much time inside buildings lately. I never took a chance to go explore any of the native CP's and orchids in NY or the surrounding states. I missed an opportunity to go exploring with my mom and brother while he was visiting, (they went to one of the state parks here,) due to work. Florida has quite a few native and naturalized species of orchids, bromeliads, and carnivorous plants. Sarracenia leucophylla grows naturally in the panhandle, five other species of Sarracenia in other parts of Florida, not to mention all the different orchids, bromeliads, and other plant oddities.

I think a local field trip might be in order before it gets too hot to want to. Start adventures on a smaller scale, then work up to the more difficult (costlier) ones. Looks like a lot of the orchid's peak flowering season is in June, but I'm thinking I won't wait that long. I'll take along the camera. May not be quite the view that Mt. Trus Madi offers, but it's interesting in it's own way, including being right in my backyard.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Update: Order #2 VFT & Sarracenia, and Some More Spring Carnivore Stuff

New Plants! Dionaea muscipula 'Akai Ryu' and Sarracenia leucophylla 'Tarnok'.

These were shipped quickly, and packaged well. Everything was in order when I opened the box. A relief after last week. They both look like they were recently, or are, dormant and I'm basically just photographing rhizomes at this point. Big things worth photographing coming soon once they get adjusted.

All potted up:

VFT 'Akai Ryu'

Sarracenia leucophylla 'Tarnok'

In other carnivore news, here's the singlular flower on the strange split flower stem on Drosera sp. 'South Africa' that I had mentioned last month. They only open in full sun, making the flower hard to capture the color appropriately, (for my digital camera at least.) It's a slightly darker pink than the photo shows.

Drosera sp. 'South Africa' flower

We're waiting on flowers from Sarracenia purpurea ssp. venosa to open. I previously said my husband counted 4, now it's clear there will be 6. This plant's best showing yet. Occasionally online, (as recently as yesterday on reddit's r/savagegarden,) I will see people tell new growers to only spend their money at specialty carnivorous plant nurseries, and not waste it on garden center/big box store/hardware store plants. Anyone who tells new growers this is an elitist plant snob. This was a big box store rescue, and one of the best plants I've ever had. Five stars, would grow again. I didn't have to pay to ship it, cost under $10, and came out of a square plastic box, *GASP*, how plebeian.

Sarracenia purpurea ssp. venosa

Friday, March 15, 2013

Spring Carnivores and The Start of Plant Shipping Season!

I was storing the North American carnivores in the fridge to finish out the rest of their dormancy, it's been enough time so I put them outside. The Venus Flytrap, Dionaea muscipula, has made it through and woken up nicely with the start of some small traps:

The Sarracenia purpurea is also waking up nicely. Looks a little sparse now that it's all cleaned up and I cut out any dying pitchers. My husband found 4 flowers starting on this guy while he was watering it the other day. This's toughed out every year despite any adverse conditions and has even won over my "I don't care about plants," husband. All kidding aside he's adopted my mini rose bush too. Maybe being forced to endure them for so long a few have grown on him for one reason or another.

The starts of a few buds

The seedling Nepenthes ventricosa from Lowe's is doing well with the mild temperatures

The best part about spring, (and now that I'm sort of settled in one place at least for the year,) IT"S A GOOD TIME TO START ORDERING PLANTS AGAIN! Yes, I'm shouting, deal with it. My brother is visiting from Maine and I got to take him to his 1st orchid show and sale. We went last weekend and he had a great time and bought some pretty cool orchids. Can you believe he only had a collection made up of orchids that other people gave him?! Oh, that 1st opportunity to be surrounded by plants and get to pick out the ones you want. It's overwhelming. He came back with five orchids....I didn't buy a thing. Odd how I've finally gotten to the point of having so much of what I want that there is little left and with little space, I have to stick to things I've fallen in love with. So I've placed two orders online so far, (and I think I might attempt to go to the Redlands International Orchid Festival in May.)

Order #1: Nepenthes veitchii 'Pink', a lowland.
Status: Arrived

Living in Florida now, lowland Nepenthes should do well here, highlands...not so much. There's really only two lowland N. veitchii cultivars available in America, 'Pink' and "Bau Lowland" from Malesiana Tropicals in Borneo, Malaysia. I've seen a few other forms, but rarely, so if anyone knows of any let me know.

I didn't order this from the usual place I order Nepenthes from. I had to try a popular, more "famous" carnivorous plant retail nursery. As you can see in the pictures, this plant came potted. Not how I ordered it and I was charged the extra shipping for it to fit a large box. The newest leaf was also broken off in shipping.

This is why I order plants bare root. I've never received a damaged plant that way, and it wouldn't have needed the extra space of a larger box. So I wrote an email about the error and although the mistake was apologised for, I also got a lecture about why it's better to keep them potted, (basically, my choice of being willing to shock the plant by unpotting and repotting it was wrong, my bad?) So why even offer bare root shipping if you don't want to ship that way. Needless to say I repotted it as I want to grow it in what I want to grow it in, and sure, it'll set the plant back a month or so. Yes, I'm a monster. You all can see how awful I am to my Nepenthes, you've seen the pictures.

Order #2: Sarracenia leucophylla 'Tarnok', an American pitcher plant with a monstrose flower. Also, Dionaea muscipula 'Akai Ryu', a nice all red Venus Fly Trap cultivar.
Status: Ordered. Updates to come. I also used a nursery I haven't ordered from in the past for these guys, but I have been meaning to expand my Sarr and VFT collection for a while now. Ordered both bare root, let's see how this order goes...

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Phalaenopsis Spiketacular: The Finale

Now that all the Phals have opened their blooms, the deck's looking pretty nice out there!

NOID Mini Phalaenopsis with mottled leaves

From the side

NOID "Medium" Phal, white flowers

NOID Variegated Mini Phalaenopsis

NOID Mini Phalaenopsis with solid purple blooms

Phalaenopsis stuartiana