Tag Archives: burkii

Smurf’s Six Petals

As I was working in the greenhouse yesterday, I came across something pretty unique. For a while I’ve been eagerly awaiting S. “Smurf” to bloom so that I could see how those weird genetics would play out with some of the other plants. I know that some think it’s a plant for the compost heap. After all, it is a freak. I, on the other hand, kind of like this plant’s odd character. (See photos here for example.)

At first glance, I didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary. However, I noticed something different as I began to harvest the pollen. Not only is this plant an oddball in foliage – it’s a bit of an anomaly when it comes to the flowers too. Smurf’s flower has six petals. It also has six stigmas. Furthermore, the style is funk-tified with grooves and slight frills on the edges. Sarracenia flowers typically only have five petals. (See flower chart for parts reference, here.) Time will tell if the flower and pollen prove fertile.

I do not know if this is petal count consistent with the other Smurfs that are out there, or if I just have a Smurf that had some sort of identity crisis and decided to do it’s own thing this year. Of course, there is a possibility that this is a one off occurrence and that it could grow a “normal” flower next year. My other S. “Smurf” divisions have no bloom this year, but it would be very interesting to compare if I had more blooms next year. If anyone else has a S. “Smurf” in bloom, please let me know your findings; would love to hear from you!

Sarracenia purpurea "Smurf" flower
Sarracenia “Smurf” – 18 March 2013
Upon my initial observation, I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. When I went to harvest pollen, that’s when I noticed the flower was a bit different.

Sarracenia purpurea "Smurf" flower
Sarracenia “Smurf” flower – 18 March 2013

Sarracenia purpurea "Smurf" flower
Sarracenia “Smurf” flower – 18 March 2013
This plant truly has a unique style. Yeah, double entendre intended.


There’s no place like home. Like I mentioned in my last post, I deeply enjoyed my visit up north (thanks again Mark!), but it feels great to be back home and with the plants again. Below are some photos from my first day back in the Asylum. A few traps here and there… as well as a few blooms, and a few buds that I’m really excited to work with! Enjoy!


The Asylum. It’s great to be home. 

Pinguicula Planter
Pinguicula doggy-piggy-bank planter, sending up a bloom!

Sarracenia 'Leah Wilkerson' x minor var. okefenokeensis
Sarracenia ‘Leah Wilkerson’ x minor var. okefenokeensis
Sown last year and growing quickly.

Sarracenia alata x rubra ssp. wherryi, MBRS clone
Sarracenia alata x rubra ssp. wherryi, MBRS clone.

Sarracenia ((rubra x oreophila) x flava v. rugelii) x 'Adrian Slack' - Select Clone
Sarracenia ((rubra x oreophila) x flava v. rugelii) x ‘Adrian Slack’
-Select Clone-
The pitchers from very late last season are still holding color well.

Sarracenia (leucophylla "red" x minor var. okefenokeensis) x (leucophylla x psittacina)
Sarracenia (leucophylla “red” x minor var. okefenokeensis) x (leucophylla x psittacina)  – cross by Dr. Travis H. Wyman.

Sarracenia 'Godzuki' x ((rubra x oreophila) x flava v. rugelii)
S. ‘Godzuki’ x ((rubra x oreophila) x flava v. rugelii)

Sarracenia flava "Heavy Veined"Sarracenia flava “Heavy Veined” flower breaking open.

Sarracenia 'Adrian Slack'
Sarracenia ‘Adrian Slack’
FINALLY, a BUD! After 2 years with no bloom, I finally get one this year!

Hope it survives and actually blooms for me though…

Sarracenia 'Smurf'
Ok, I know. It’s a freak. S. purpurea “Smurf” has a bud.
This should be interesting.

Sarracenia purpurea subsp. venosa var. burkii f. luteolaSarracenia purpurea subsp. venosa var. burkii f. luteola
Got another one with a bud! I wonder if I should cross with the Smurf? Hmm…

Sarracenia 'Reptilian Rose' x leucophylla "Pale" - Clone 1
Sarracenia ‘Reptilian Rose’ x leucophylla “Pale” – clone 1
Cross by Dr. Travis H. Wyman

Sarracenia 'Reptilian Rose' x leucophylla "Pale" - Clone 7Sarracenia ‘Reptilian Rose’ x leucophylla “Pale” – clone 7
Cross by Dr. Travis H. Wyman

AF Buds

Oooooh… now this is pretty interesting! Well, for me at least. I know there were a couple of freak early flowers that opened up last month – but seeing buds start to pop up like this always is exciting. Many more buds are on the way and The Asylum should soon soon be flooded in bud breaking badass-ery. Here’s a few AF (anthocyanin free) buds for your viewing pleasure.  Oh, the potential!

Sarracenia purpurea subsp. venosa var. burkii f. luteola
Sarracenia purpurea ssp. venosa var. burkii f. luteola

Sarracenia mitchellilana - Anthocyanin Free
Sarracenia mitchelliana, AF clone

Sarracenia courtii AF x "Green Monster"Sarracenia courtii, AF clone x “Green Monster”


Sarracenia 'Reptilian Rose' x purpurea "Big Mama"-1Sarracenia ‘Reptilian Rose’ x rosea “Big Mama” – the sole survivor.

-Meet The Parents-

Sarracenia 'Reptilian Rose'  Sarracenia rosea "Big Mama"
Left: S. ‘Reptilian Rose’  |  Right: S. rosea “Big Mama”

In 2011 I did a cross between Sarracenia ‘Reptilian Rose’ and Sarracenia rosea “Big Mama” – (parents photographed above). I only got about 10-15 seeds from this cross and was eventually left with with only ONE survivor (in the photograph). As a side note – the pod was ripe earlier than most other crosses. I knew it was ready because the pod cracked open and I saw a couple of seeds sprouting INSIDE the pod! Yes, it happens. I have no idea why, but it does from time to time. This is why this particular seedling looks a few months older than the others that I started later in the year. I took those 2 or 3 that sprouted early and planted them in a separate pot letting them do their thang, while taking the rest into cold stratification to be sown later. Those that sprouted early were doing OK. Really. They were. But because of the crappy conditions and moving that I recently had to go through — all but one survived. And as far as those other seeds? Welllll… those never sprouted, so I tossed that pot. Ehhhh, shit happens.

S. ‘Reptilian Rose’ was used as the pod parent, and I hope that it can exert a strong influence on this seedling. My luck with using S. ‘Reptilian Rose’ as a pod parent in hybrids hasn’t been very good. I get no pollen at all! And when using the plant as the pod parent, I typically get only a few seeds (10-20) and as with any set of seed, not all those seeds may make it to germination. (UGH DAYMN!! WTF!!) Things don’t always work out the way we want them to in breeding or in the garden — or even in life for that matter. We just roll with it and make the best of what we’re dealt.

When I did this cross, I was aiming for a maniacal looking Sarracenia catesbaei-ish type looking hybrid with that angular nectar roll characteristic of S. ‘Reptilian Rose’ and a large wing (or “ala”) from S. rosea “Big Mama”. I am hoping also that the sheer rotund-ness from S. “Big Mama” will be seen in this cross as well. The plant currently is too young to be able to see any characteristics, but I’ll update y’all again later once something note-worthy happens. I’ll link back to this post in the future once this baby grows up a bit.

Hopefully, I have the opportunity to re-make the cross again in the future.


You know, I have this thing for the bizarre. (Hell, I am a little bit of strange one myself!) I mean, DUDE – I grow plants that eat things. Carnivorous plants have evolved some rather rad and fearsome idiosyncrasies and are mos’ def are not your “typical” plant. Sarracenia “Smurf” is one of those plants that fall into that freakish category within this carnivorous cartel. It is my understanding that this freak was a mutation of S. purpurea ssp. venosa v. burkii discovered in tissue culture. I know that this plant does not  appeal to many – and yo, that’s totally OK. I’ve heard comments along the lines of: “Dude, the thing is a FREAK!”“Someone should put it out of it’s misery.”,  “I don’t like it at all.”, “…Ready for the compost heap…” and “That f*cker is just straight up FUGLY!”

I, on the other hand, find this curious oddball of a carnivore outlandishly fascinating.

Yeah, I understand that everyone has their own tastes. That’s just one aspect that makes growing and breeding plants interesting and engaging. I truly enjoy the range and the diversity of botanical flavors out there. And yes, I do favor some forms more than others depending on my mood. I guess. One thing is for certain: I am looking forward to seeing how these little freaks play in the gene pool. I hope they play nicely with the others… 🙂


Sarracenia "Smurf"
Sarracenia “Smurf” village

Sarracenia "Smurf"
Sarracenia “Smurf”

Sarracenia "Smurf"
Sarracenia “Smurf”

Sarracenia "Smurf"
Sarracenia “Smurf”

Sarracenia "Smurf"
Sarracenia “Smurf”

Sarracenia "Smurf"
Sarracenia “Smurf”

Sarracenia "Smurf"Sarracenia “Smurf”

Rad Rosea!