Re: Red-leaf VFT

Eric Schlosser (
Wed, 30 Aug 1995 16:33:30 CET-1CST

On Tue, 29 Aug 1995, Philip Semanchuk wrote:

> Bruce ( and I observed VFTs on our recent field
> trip in the following states:
> - All green plants
> - Green plants w/partial red and green traps on the same plant
> - Green plants w/vivid red traps where the red completely covered
> the inner trap surface
> By far the all green is the most common followed by those plants
> with reddish traps. Only a few plants have the strikingly red
> traps. We saw all varieties of these plants in both full and
> partial sun, and it made us curious as to what causes the red
> traps in VFTs. Is it known?

Variation in VFTs have been noticed over a long time, some led to the
description of some forms, nothing valid however.

The colour of flowers or leaves is no reason at all for defining
special forms. In VFTs the leaves can vary gradually from green to
deep red (including petioles). There is certainly some amount of
genetic in the expression of more or less red traps. Phil described
quite well that different colour variants may grow side by side in
full sun as well as in shade. There are some forms that never get red
at all and may be considered anthocyan free. Others still show that
they can develop red colour but they don't have much of it even in
full sun whereas some might be red in full shade. On the other side
of the extreme is the all red VFT.

Some of it is however induced by environmental conditions. I have
a few plants of a clone of VFT with deep red traps, but when I repot
one of these plants it'll produce all green leaves and traps for some
time, starting to get some traps suffused in red and getting all
red traps in the end (after one year). The old green leaves may get
some red with age, but usually don't get as red as new ones. (BTW,
it's the same with deep coloured S.flava or alata).

Now that it comes to mentioning some of the variations in VFTs I would
like to list some forms of which some have caught attention in

A) colour variation

of the plant
1 anthocyan free forms (f.heterophylla)
2 traps partially or all shaded in red or orange
3 red traps
4 all red plants
5 variegated (parts of the leaves are chlorophyll free)

of the flower
6 white flower
7 pink flower (very exceptional)

B) growth variation

of the plants appearance
8 f.muscipula (very compact growth)
9 f.erecta (leaves long and upright as well as short)
12 f.linearis (mainly upright leaves)
11 f.filiformis (only elongated leaves)

of the flower
12 elongated petals
13 rounded petals

mutant forms
14 toothless
15 dentate (short teeth)
16 fused teeth (clumps of two to six teeth each instead of
one, there are several forms)
17 cup trap

This is not supposed to be a description of distinct forms nor a
complete compilation of possible variation in VFTs !
Some of the variations can be combined (all red plant and pink
flowers, upright leaves and red traps etc.). All those expressions
are likely to be changed with reproduction and new expressions may be
found at random. Other desired forms might be selected in culture
(e.g. frost resistant or big ones).
One of my VFTs flowered this year with each petal three lobed.
Whether this is genetic or accidental will yet take some other
flower seasons before it gets probable to me, at least it is not as
rare as one might think. (cf.the picture of some flowering VFTs in
Schnells book where one ragged flower that has probably similar
flowers is shown among many usual flowers).
Filled flowers could be possible like in many other genera (roses,

The forms 8-11 are rather cultural varieties but not botanical forms.
They are as far as I know sold in Japan (only) and I have seen just
photos till now, so I can't tell if this growth form is constant.
It is well known that VFTs produce different leaves during the
seasons of the year, however it is just like with the colours and
some plants produce more upright or compact growth and can be seen in
the field side by side.

It is remarkable that many mutant forms appeared in culture during
the last years. 14 - 17 are probably the most monstrous ones, 1,
4, 5, 7 are probably mutant forms too. More strategical nursing and
selecting of outstanding forms may lead to interesting cultural
varieties (I better don't mention what mankind made possible with
corn or potatoes, but for those who doubt the aesthetical value of
these forms here's a practical one: just think of the many nursery and
ware house customs that would greatly prefer a three headed, cockroach
eating, tap water loving VFT instead of a meagre poached one from the
swamps of NC).

I would be glad to hear from anyone who has seen any other forms in
nature or culture, or who knows who bred some of the existing ones.

Yours sincerely

Eric Schlosser