Sarra. Nurseries + Microscopes

Mon, 20 Mar 1995 08:38:00 -0500


1. Sarracenia Nurseries (UK) - My understanding is that this
nursery accepts orders as soon as it produces it's new list
(early on in the new year). However, plants are not
dispatched until there is no risk of frost (late May/ early
June). The nursery will dispatch plants earlier at the
customers request though will then accept no liability
should things get cold on the journey. Thus if Shings friend
didn't specify a dispatch time the plants should be sent in
a couple of months time. I got some plants from this nursery
2 years ago and they arrived in good condition.

2. Microscope - last week I did a spot of experimenting with
a Leica Wild M8 microscope that is in one of the labs here.
It is possible to put quite large samples under this device
so I brought in a couple of plants to look at, Pinguicula
acuminata and P.laueana. In particular,I wanted to get some
good close up photos of P.acuminata - this is the first time
that my plants have flowered. This is a most remarkable
plant with white and violet flowers with a peculiar 90
degree bend of the spur so that it points towards the
ground. The oddest aspect of this plant is that the winter
rosette is buried and the flowers emerge from this before
the summer leaves. This provides the bizarre site of flowers
emerging from a pot without an obvious plant being present!
Under the microscope the hidden beauty of these flowers is
revealed with the delicate hairs on the petals and the
sticky glands on the stalk. I used up an entire 36 shot film
before I got round to looking at P.laueana. If they turn out
well I'll have some slides made up and submit them to CPN -
maybe with an article to keep them company. If I'm pleased
with the results I will take similar photos of other plants
as they come into flower. I can also attach a video camera
to the microscope so I may be able to grab frames into my PC
which could be used for the CP web page or perhaps slides
could be scanned in. ( Rick advice on this may be useful).
I'll let you know how I get on.