sarr hybrids

Barry Meyers-Rice (
Thu, 16 Jun 94 14:16:09 MST

> I've been thinking alot about orchid hybrids lately. Everyone is always
> trying to make a bigger flower, different colors, etc. It then dawned on
> me that I had no idea what the trends are in CP. So what are the trends?
> Bigger pitchers? Or is everyone working to make nicer flowers on these
> interesting little plants that we are growing.

John, I don't know what the ``trends'' are in hybridization, but I do know
what I am looking for with _Sarracenia_. I value a great degree of colour
in the pitchers. This does not mean exclusively red (as in all-red flava etc),
but rather a variety of colours. For example, I have cross I made a few
years back of leucophylla X (rubra gulfensis X flava rugelii). The leuco
influence is very strong in my selected seedling giving the plant a lot
of white on the pitcher, along with that cute undulate lid margin. The
flava rugelii comes across in a well defined and non-diluted throat splotch
of red. The rubra intensifies the red veining and gives a delicate red
blush to the pitcher.

On the other hand, I also like a nice sturdiness to the pitcher, and the
above cross has a little bit of floppiness (from the rubra) that I find
a little irritating.

So I like a sturdy multicoloured pitcher with red, green, and white.
I'm also fond of the erect plants, and think that while you can get some
wonderful colours from psittacina, the price you pay (short plant, wildly
distorted lids) is kind of steep.

Plants I use a lot in hybridization are my minor `okefenokee' and
flava `ornate veins.' The results are great.

In terms of size, the biggest traps and flowers in the genus are in some
S.flava. Cross them, and the resulting flowers are much smaller. I don't
know of anyone hybridizing Sarracenia with the flowers in mind, with the
exception of a few oddities such as the leucophylla cv. `Tarnok' or orange
flowered psittacinas.

But all said and done, my great pleasure comes from the pure-species.
Funny, but I look at my hybrids and while they give me a sense of creative
accomplishment they still have a somewhat inferior air. I could give up
all my hybrids, but not the pure species.