Notes on Utrics and Sarrs

Barry Meyers-Rice (
Thu, 1 Jun 1995 11:19:35 -0700


1)Utricularia pubescens 2)Sarracenia dissection 3)Rotten Sarracenia in
the field

>>For some time now, my U. pubescens 'Auyan Tepui' has been
>>flowering like crazy. Last night I counted close to twenty
>>scapes, each with a single flower, and some were developing a
>>second flower. The only thing I can figure is that I've kept
>>the water level very high, which corresponds to the wet season
>>when (I assume) the plant flowers. Anyone care to speculate?

>My U. pubescens flowered for the first time just recently. Even
>though I only got 1 scape, I tend to agree with you. All I did
>was repot it from peat\sand into pure Sphagnum, and raise the
>water level right up to the top of the compost.

I have two clones of _U.pubescens_. The clone I've grown for years and years
flowers only rarely, producing scapes 20--30 cm tall with dorsally flattened,
pale blue flowers. Gordon Snelling describes them as dull and ugly, although
I am too biased with love of the genus to describe them so! As I have perhaps
mentioned before, for some reason this plant does best when grown with my
_D.adelae_, and I suspect the reason is they like a bit more shade or
humidity than I normally provide.

My newer Auyan Tepui clone from Christoph flowers regularly and profusely,
even shaming _U.sandersonii_. The scapes on this specimen are only 3--8 cm
tall, and the flowers are cream--pale blue with an interesting dark
spot on the proximal palate region. Both clones have 1--several flowers per
scape. The affinity of the Auyan Tepui clone of _U.pubescens_ to _U.livida_
is striking.

Both clones are grown in the same conditions---water table just a few
cm beneath the soil surface.


> a) When he has time likes to slice open the dead sarra leaves to see
> what has been eaten

>Me too! I took some CP and also my cacti to an exhibition last
>Friday, which is mainly visited by schoolchildren. I sliced
>open a live Sarracenia leaf (one of last year's) to show off
>what it had caught.

When I guest-lecture for children, I find that when cutting open a Sarracenia
leaf and scooping out the black insect remains, it is best to make faces and
say, ``Ooohh! Ugghh!'' and so on. It heightens the pleasure and satisfaction
for all considered! :)


Finally, a comment on rotten Sarracenia smells. I have found _S.flava_ in
the field with tremendously strong rotting smells---easily detected many
meters away. When I looked closely into one (holding my breath) I was
fascinated to find the contents roiling with maggots. The smell was such that
I did not wish to investigate further, however in hindsight I wish I had.