leucophylla and reniformis

Barry Meyers-Rice (barry@mips3.as.arizona.edu)
Mon, 12 Sep 1994 14:41:37 +0700

Hey there.

I recently got a few _Sarracenia_ from Uwe W in the big order Don Burden
orchestrated. They are all growing extremely well, in fact I am a little
astonished. What do you tissue culture folk pump these plants with?!
But anyway, I have some plants that Uwe called _S.leucophylla_---yellow
flower. Hmm. I've been growing Sarracenia for about ten years now, and have
confidence in my ability to tell them apart. Even when they are still
somewhat juvenile (several cm tall) and still capable of fooling you,
you can deduce something about them. Well I tell you that that these
_S.leucophylla_ are producing leaves that look a great deal like a mix
with _S.purpurea_! Anybody else seeing this? This is highly preliminary,
but still compelling. I'm going to watch these plants carefully. I wonder
if these plants are a bizarre backcrossing of _S.leucophylla_ and
_S.purpurea ssp. venosa f. heterophylla_?

I got an interesting package in the mail from overseas. Included in the
box was a baggie labelled "U.reniformis".

This name presents an interesting problem for horticulturists. You see, I
have long grown a plant which, although it has not flowered for me, I am
sufficiently convinced is _U.nephrophylla_---a lovely species that looks
much like the groundcover plant _Dichondra repens_ which is grown in the
warm regions of the US instead of lawns. Anyway, although TAYLOR says
_U.nephrophylla_ produces leaves 2cm in total length (lamina about 1cm long,
petiole about 1cm long), my _U.nephrophylla_ produces leaves up to 5cm long
(lamina about 2cm long, petiole about 3cm). I've been convinced that this
plant is probably a slightly large clone of _U.nephrophylla_---after all, it
is very common for plants grown in collections to be remarkable plants for
one reason or another, in this case being a bit large is not too surprising.

But three times in the past I've been sent specimens of "U.reniformis". Each
time I've looked at this plant, it has been identical to my _U.nephrophylla_,
even after growing it for several months in the greenhouse. I began to question
the dividing line between the two species, especially since I've only had
nonflowering material with which to work. TAYLOR says that the stolons of
_U.nephrophylla_ are filiform and perhaps only about 1mm in diameter, while
those of _U.reniformis_ are much bigger. I think that growers *want* to label
a plant _U.reniformis_ because that plant usually has huge leaf lamina (several
cm in diameter) and as a result is a more prestigious sort of plant.

This brings me to the shipment of this week. The specimen is mostly a mass of
stolons, rhizoids, and bladders---present is only one leaf 2 cm in diameter
on a petiole *several* cm long. But what HUGE stolons---I've never seen ones
like this on a _Utricularia_! They are 1--1.5 cm thick (the sample on this
cutting is several cm long) just as TAYLOR notes. Amazing!

Anybody have cultivation suggestions? This has been apparently been growing in
a peat/perlite mix. I am potting it in long fiber NZ _Sphagnum, keeping the
mix very light. I have it in the coolest part of my greenhouse. I dearly hope
this survives. I have a reference to an old article in CPN that I'll look
into, but I was wondering if anyone out there in electron-land has this