G.violacea in CPN

Fernando Rivadavia Lopes (ferndriv@cat.cce.usp.br)
Fri, 23 Jun 1995 02:57:45 -0300 (EST)

To all,

I just received the June CPN issue and was amazed to see those
giant G.violacea traps on the cover! According to my literature, the
largest G.violacea traps are 4cm long, while those in the picture are at
least 10cm in length! Does anybody live near Geoff Wong to ask him for me
exactly how long those traps are?
My attempts at herborization of the various native Brazilian species
were always frustrating, since the traps are incredibly brittle. From
these annoying experiences (and knowing that most collectors don't take
the care to collect more than peduncles for herbarium), I was sure that
traps lengths in literature were underestimated. Yet to actually see
those enormous traps on a plant I know so well was quite a shock!
Especially because I suspect it's the form from Caraca (Karassah), which
by what I know is practically the only form in cultivation. I know Thomas
Carow from Germany collected this species in another area when he visited
Brazil in '85, but I don't know if he was able to establish it into
cultivation or spread it to others.
Caraca was the first place I saw this species in the wild. I hope
to see more CPers growing the other forms of this species in the near
future. I know of a few who have germinated seeds of other forms, but
don't know how these are going along. Unfortunately, attempts of
introducing the similar, though rare, G.lobata into cultivation seem to
have failed. Two years ago I visited the mountain where G.lobata seems
to be endemic to and got lots of seeds from the plants. The only reports
I've had are that the seeds germinate and the plantlets don't last long.
I once in a while find a seedling in the pot where I sowed their seeds 2
years ago, but these also always die after a few weeks, no matter what I
try. I guess we'll have to wait until I get the chance to return there
one day to collect more!
Anyways, I thought it was strange that the traps of that G.violacea
on the CPN cover were completely white. At Caraca, this species is
common on Sphagnum mats above 1700m. In this habitat, I've observed
traps growing near the surface where they sometimes break the surface and
become exposed to sunlight. Not only did I see these tips naturally
budding into new plants, but saw that they acquired a greenish hue. The
way the photo shows Geoff Wong's plant, I'd expect it would have greenish
traps, since these are exposed to light, not to mention that they'd
probably also be budding into new plantlets. Maybe he keeps the clear
container covered most of the time, not allowing sunlight to reach the
traps. I suspect sunlight might even reduce the length of the traps.
Well, I'm sure gonna be attempting this same technique with my
plants! If only I these plants didn't die so easily when brought into
cultivation, I'm sure every single one would surprise us with their trap
lengths, especially G.aurea.

Sao Paulo, Brasil