Clarke Brunt (CLARKE@lsl.co.uk)
Wed, 23 Mar 1994 11:19:29 GMT

I've got my first ever flowers developing on 2 Sarracenia and a
Darlingtonia (4 years from seed, and 4 years from a tiny bit of
plant from a Garden Centre respectively).

I've sometimes wondered what makes Darlingtonia deserve a separate
genus, rather than just being a Sarracenia with peculiar pitchers.
Obviously I haven't yet had chance to study the flowers closely, but
from what I remember, they are fairly similar too. I'm not a botanist,
just interested, so what in the publication of these genera
distinguishes them?

A noteable difference is that the Sarracenia buds are developing on
a naked stem, whilst what I assume to be a developing Darlingtonia
bud is on a peculiar structure with leaves/scales on it. This structure
started to develop last Autumn/Fall, and at the time, I didn't know
what it was - I though it was just an offset.

So far, I have had no trouble with Darlingtonia in assorted mixtures
or peat/perlite/grit/sand despite dire warnings in Slack's book that
it is only happy in Sphagnum moss. A friend (I think) even included a
bit of soil based compost in his, and if anything, it grows even
better than mine. What does everyone else think?

Latest installment on the Darlingtonia seed experiment: Seed collected
from friend's plant last September, and quickly sown in 3 batches -
(1) in house at 60F/15C, (2) in greenhouse at 45F/8C, (3) outside down
to about 28F/-2C.
I reported before that (1) germinated in a few weeks, (2) more slowly and
are only starting to develop further now as the weather warms up. Latest
news is that (3) are now starting to germinate.
Next problem: What to do with 100s of Darlingtonia seedlings? Please
don't all say 'send me one'. I wouldn't mind sending seed next time
I have some, but plants are probably too much trouble.

It begins to look as though it doesn't really matter what you do with
the seed as long as it is fresh. Until this experiment, I had zero
germination with 2 commercial packets from Chiltern Seeds.

Clarke Brunt