Category Archives: Nepenthes

Collection Surfing: Day 3 of 3

The final installment of this trilogy of vignettes takes to the wonderful garden of Martinez. Drew’s collection is beautiful madness, and his space usage (especially in the Nepenthes houses) is very efficient. As an added bonus, the great Sarracenia artist himself, the legend — Phil Faulisi accompanied us on this visit to Drew’s place too! We had a great day simply immersing ourself in botanical bliss. This was one memorable weekend filled with carnivorous plant wonder. I seriously could use more weekends like this.

Drew and Selina, thank you so much for hosting us. Really appreciate you taking time out of your day to give us a tour of your amazing collection! You both are awesome.

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Carnivorous Garden of Drew Martinez – View in fullscreen

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Carnivorous Plant Collection Surfing - 12 Apr 2015Pitcher plant powwow.

Carnivorous Plant Collection Surfing - 12 Apr 2015A plethora of Sarracenia flowers.

Carnivorous Plant Collection Surfing - 12 Apr 2015
In that company of Sarracenia flowers, a couple gems stood out. This S. purpurea ssp. venosa var. burkii f. luteola immediately caught my eye. Not just because it was anthocyanin free, but check the flowers out. It’s missing the umbrella shaped style! (See this as a reference of Sarracenia flower parts.) So weird! All the flowers on it were this way. After I pointed it out, Drew called it “Freakshow.” So cool. I love them freaks! This plant originated from a batch of seed grown plants from Chris Gussman. (Great work, Chris!) I recognized the shape and knew straight away it was from Chris since I have one too. :) Mine hasn’t bloomed yet so not sure if this trait is also expressed in the siblings.

Carnivorous Plant Collection Surfing - 12 Apr 2015Here’s a shot of one of the flowers from that strange luteola…

Carnivorous Plant Collection Surfing - 12 Apr 2015…and of the other flower. If you see past the petals, there’s no umbrella! Go home, Sarracenia. You are drunk.

Carnivorous Plant Collection Surfing - 12 Apr 2015Another flower that caught my eye after the strange luteola flower. This is S. lamentations x leucophylla. Notice anything funny about this one? Check the sepals out! (Again, here’s the Sarracenia flower reference photo.) Typically Sarracenia sepals are separated into 5 distinct sepals. This plant has only one fused / continuous sepal. It was consistent on all of the flowers too!

Carnivorous Plant Collection Surfing - 12 Apr 2015An ever-so efficient use of space. It’s packed in here!

Carnivorous Plant Collection Surfing - 12 Apr 2015

Carnivorous Plant Collection Surfing - 12 Apr 2015

Carnivorous Plant Collection Surfing - 12 Apr 2015

Carnivorous Plant Collection Surfing - 12 Apr 2015

Carnivorous Plant Collection Surfing - 12 Apr 2015Phil freaks out over this beautiful N. robcantleyi!

Carnivorous Plant Collection Surfing - 12 Apr 2015

Carnivorous Plant Collection Surfing - 12 Apr 2015

Carnivorous Plant Collection Surfing - 12 Apr 2015

Carnivorous Plant Collection Surfing - 12 Apr 2015

Carnivorous Plant Collection Surfing - 12 Apr 2015

Carnivorous Plant Collection Surfing - 12 Apr 2015

Carnivorous Plant Collection Surfing - 12 Apr 2015

Carnivorous Plant Collection Surfing - 12 Apr 2015WOW. Just… wow.

Carnivorous Plant Collection Surfing - 12 Apr 2015

Carnivorous Plant Collection Surfing - 12 Apr 2015

Predatory Plants!

This last weekend, I had the privilege of visiting Josh Brown – owner of Predatory Plants and Bay Area Carnivorous Plant Society president! If you want to add some great plants to your collection, be sure to visit Josh’s store: Predatory Plants. He has a fantastic collection and I couldn’t help but just be mesmerized by all of that carnivorous botanical wonder at his place. Enjoy the slideshow as well as a few highlight snapshots down below!

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View slideshow fullscreen

Predatory Plants

Predatory Plants

Predatory Plants

Predatory Plants

Predatory Plants

Predatory Plants

Predatory Plants

Predatory Plants

Predatory Plants

Predatory Plants

Predatory Plants

Predatory Plants

Predatory Plants

Josh – thanks for the tour and for sharing your amazing collection with me. Keep up the brilliant work… by the way – now I want to grow ant plants! :)

Nepenthes robcantleyi in UV Light

As seen in this previous post, my young Nepenthes robcantleyi has finally put out a decent pitcher in the new tank conditions. It’s been a while since I last tinkered around with the 254nm short wave UV light as seen with the Red Queen here, and some other Nepenthes here; so I wanted to try it out with this new pitcher. I ran a 90 second exposure to really get the glow to show. The resulting shot was hauntingly beautiful.


Nepenthes robcantleyi under 254nm UV Light.
90 second exposure, f 9.0, 50mm. Mouse over to see the plant in normal light.

Snapshots from The Tank and The Greenhouse-in-Greenhouse

While most of the plants currently in their winter slumber, I’m keeping myself occupied by growing a few other plants. At my place, I keep a 50 gallon tank filled with a few Nepenthes, Cephalotus, Heliamphora, and a few other things. In The Asylum, I have a smaller greenhouse that I partially bubble wrapped for insulation.  That’s where I have a few tropicals just hangin’ out. Here’s a few shots from both of those worlds.

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First off a few shots from The Tank.

The TankThe Tank. It is lined with something shiny. Because I like shiny things. And the light makes the plants happy. Yes. Also, notice the 10″ x 20″ trays with the fluorescent egg crate cover that I trimmed over those trays. Excess water drains into the trays after I water the plants, and the crate keeps the plants from sitting in the water while that drainage water contributes to the the lovely humidity in the tank.

Cephalotus follicularisCephalotus follicularis

Cephalotus follicularisFrom the Powazek collection: Cephaltous follicularis growing in a hanging teardrop planter. Brillant.

Platycerium coronariumSpeaking of hanging things, I have a recovering Platycerium coronarium that didn’t like how cold it was getting in the greenhouse, so I moved it here. Seems to like it as it’s putting out new growth.

Pinguicula mesophyticaPinguicula mesophytica bloom.

Nepenthes hamataA young Nepenthes hamata pitcher.

Nepenthes hamata and Nepenthes burkeii x hamataLeft: young Nepenthes hamata pitcher. | Right: young Nepenthes burkeii x hamata pitcher.

Drosera regiaDrosrea regia vs. moth.

Nepenthes singalana Tujuh x hamata - Red Hairy FormNepenthes singlana Tujuh x hamata – Red Hairy Form… Beast!

Nepenthes singalana Tujuh x hamata - Red Hairy FormNepenthes singlana Tujuh x hamata – Red Hairy Form – check out the red/orange fuzz! Sweet!

Nepenthes singalana Tujuh x hamata - Red Hairy FormNew pitcher recently opened of Nepenthes singalana Tujuh x hamata – Red Hairy Form.

Nepenthes singalana Tujuh x hamata - Red Hairy FormNew pitcher recently opened of Nepenthes singalana Tujuh x hamata – Red Hairy Form – a closer shot of the same pitcher above.

Heliamphora heterodoxa x minorI did a few Heliamphora divisions and some reside in the tank and are adjusting quite well! This is Heliamphora heterodoxa x minor. The older pitchers look crappy but the new pitchers are coming up quite nicely.

Nepenthes robcantleyiA recently opened pitcher of Nepenthes robcantleyi! YEAH! I’ve had this for years and it has never really grown well for me. After moving it into the tank, it immediately let me know it was happy with these new conditions.

Nepenthes robcantleyiNepenthes robcantleyi. Ugh, that peristome tho. So magnificent. I can’t wait for this baby to put out larger pitchers! The whole pitcher will color up as it gets more mature. Seriously love this plant.

Tank - FanHere’s what I use for some air movement inside the tank – an Evercool computer fan. I currently have one on the left side of the tank but I’m planning to add another on the right side for better air movement.

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And now – a few shots from inside the partially bubble-wrap clad greenhouse inside the greenhouse. (So bontanically inception-y, eh?)

Nepenthes houseThe Nepenthes/Tropical house.

Nepenthes lowii x campanulataNepenthes lowii x campanulata

Nepenthes thorelii x aristolochioidesNepenthes thorelii x aristolochioides

Nepenthes "Eglantine"Nepenthes “Eglantine”

Nepenthes burbidgeae x platychilaNepenthes burbidgeae x platychila

Nepenthes Poi DogNepenthes – Poi Dog Hybrid

Nepenthes Poi Dog - maxima hybridNepenthes Poi Dog – Maxima Hybrid

Nepenthes platychilaNepenthes platychila – new pitcher steadily growing.

Nepenthes maxima x aristolochioidesFrom the Powazek Collection: Nepenthes maxima x aristolochioides

Nepenthes spectabilis x platychilaAlso from the Powazek Collection: Nepenthes spectabilis x platychila

Nepenthes densiflora x glanduliferaYoung pitcher of Nepenthes densiflora x glandulifera

Nepenthes x ((eymae x (stenophylla x lowii)) x x trusmadiensis)Nepenthes ((eymae x (stenophylla x lowii)) x x trusmadiensis)

Nepenthes spectabilis x singlanaNepenthes spectabilis x singlana

Nepenthes jambanNepenthes jamban – check out the pitcher in the back.
There’s a slug going for a swim in that pitcher.
I found it that way.

Nepenthes jambanAnother angle of Nepenthes jamban – you can see the slug a little better in there.

Nepenthes "Enigma"Nepenthes “Enigma”

AechmeaHad to throw a bromeliad up in here… (A type of Aechmea, not sure what the species is. You bro experts let me know what it is!)

Winter Greetings

Winter greetings all! I hope this finds you all well and that this winter season has been good to you and the plants. Now that it is winter and the plants are asleep, activity in The Asylum is ramping up. This winter season is a busy one indeed. I’ve been doing some cleaning, trimming, moving plants about, and even some sorting of seeds (Yeeessss, I know – many of you asked about seeds. And divisions. So stay tuned for that update…)

Here’s a small selection of photos from around the garden. First shot below is a doozy. What a complete mess this is. Yeah, I gots my trimming work cut out for me. Most plants have long since put away the glory of the season past. They are once again clothed in the sleep of crispy crunchy pitchers. Soon enough, this place will be bursting full of life again…

Time for clean upDormancy

And of course, my trusted garden helper – my katana, puts some work in…


Quick clip: Slicing through Sarracenia.
Sorry for the quality. Filmed in slow motion (120 FPS) on the mobile device
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Sarracenia oreophilaSarracenia oreophila section – all squared away.

Dionea clean upDionaea, Pinguicula, and Drosera (Drosera out of shot in background) cleaned and organized.

Sarracenia oreophilaDormancy: Sarracenia oreophila

Sarracenia alata - Maroon ThroatSarracenia alata – maroon throat
A few pitchers still hanging on.

Sarracenia leucophylla x "Eva"Seedling: Sarracenia leucophylla x “Eva”  pitcher still vibrant.

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And while the Sarracenias sleep, the Nepenthes crew bask in these cooler temperatures. Watching the Nepenthes and tropicals grow during the winter helps break up the monotony of all the lifeless pitchers. I like them ‘cuz you know, I always have to be growing… *something.*

Nepenthes ventricosa x tiveyiNepenthes ventricosa x tiveyi

Nepenthes thorelii x aristolochioidesNepenthes thorelii x aristolochioides

Nepenthes (eymae x (stenophylla x lowii)) x trusmadiensisNepenthes (eymae x (stenophylla x lowii)) x trusmadiensis

Grow TankAnd finally – back home is the grow tank. I turned an unused 50 gallon tank into a refuge for some Heliamphora, Cephalotus, Nepenthes, a Pinguicula and Drosera. There’s a variegated vanilla orchid growing in the corner and a mounted staghorn fern (Platycerium coronatum) that was not taking too well to the cooler temps in the greenhouse. Be looking for updates from the grow tank in the future.