The first pitcher pitcher open for this year goes to the amazing Sarracenia “Legacy” – a select cross between S. ‘Leah Wilkerson’ and S. ‘Adrian Slack’ created by Brooks Garcia.
I’m quite excited about this plant this year. Not just because there’s FINALLY a pitcher open, but if you notice in the first photo — there’s two flower buds on this plant! I honestly didn’t think this would bloom this year as it had a strange off-season bloom last fall. This opens up some wonderful opportunities for crosses this year. Below are a few photos of S. “Legacy” opening up.
Hello February! Now that things are getting warmer, the plants are slowly breaking dormancy. Things over at the greenhouse are doing well, but there’s only so much about dead foliage I can post about. Dormancy is probably my busiest time as this is when I do my cleaning, trimming and repotting. One of the projects I work on during this dormancy period includes prepping the Sarracenia seeds for cold stratification. In order to germinate, Sarracenia seeds need a period of cold and damp stratification to break away a waxy layer that surrounds them. I’ve summarized my cold stratification process below.
(Left) I store the Sarracenia seeds in the fridge. I make sure they are cool and dry while in storage to keep them viable as long as possible. The container I keep them in is lined with a thin layer of silica gel to keep them dry.
(Center) For my cold stratification media, I’ve used sphagnum moss that I’ve boiled and run through the blender. I’ve boiled the moss as a precautionary measure to kill off any fungi and weed seeds. A bit neurotic, I know but I didn’t mind taking an extra step this year. I like using Sphagnum moss as it holds water pretty well. I know others who have used media that include things like damp paper towels, moist sand, and peat moss. As long as the seeds are damp and cold, it will work out.
(Right) I take the Sarracenia seeds and a bit of that beautiful blenderized sphagnum-slushie and mix it all up in little bagies. I throw a tag in there so I know what’s in the bag. Since the greenhouse doesn’t get cold enough, I opt to use this method to give the seeds a nice chill. Other growers who live in colder climates will just put the seeds into the pots that they’ll start to germinate in and leave all that in out the cold. Hey, that works too! I wish I had that luxury. I leave the seeds in the fridge for about 4-6 weeks (or longer if I can’t get to them right away) then throw the entire seed-sphagnum-slush mixture into a pot to get them started. You can check out this post from 2012 to see how I prepared the seeds for germination.
Ahhh… the cycle starts over again and as always, I’ll be watching these babies with great anticipation hoping for some cool stuff in the coming years.
With the unusually warm winter we’ve been having here in California, I’m seeing more and more signs of life springing up around the greenhouse. A vast majority of the plants are still dormant, but it’s pretty refreshing to see a few things showing some life.
Sarracenia “Legacy” – the new growth already extending above the trimmed old growth of last season.
Sarracenia “Legacy” bud – excited to think about the possibilities this can provide in breeding this season!
Drosera filiformis var. tracyi – waking up!
Pinguicula ‘Titan’ in bloom. During the winter the pings provide some nice splashes of color against the brown crispy Sarracenia pitchers.
Drosera regia repotted last week – still looking quite grand!
Hope everyone’s been having a good 2014 so far! Two weeks in there hasn’t been much plant action on this end – other than the massive cleaning and re-organizing efforts that are currently underway in The Asylum. Here’s a few snapshots of how my 2014 is going so far.
The Asylum. The left half of the house has been trimmed. I’ve taken The Dome down on the right and I’m currently finishing up construction of 3 more water tables.
Looking fresh and clean!
The wreckage of dead foliage. I still have a lot of work ahead!
Burnt out heads of anthocyanin-free formosa.
Special thanks to Karen Oudean for sending over some brilliant specimens of Darlingtonia californica – Coos Co., OR
Drosera binata var. dichitoma awake and unfurling new traps.
Some Drosera regia cleaned and potted up.
What is this madness?! Is that… a BUD?!
Sarracenia “Legacy” – new pitcher forming.
The asylum, the sanctuary – under a brilliant colorful sky last evening.