Re: A question on D. Peltata and darlingtonia

From: Phil Wilson (
Date: Fri May 07 1999 - 13:07:27 PDT

Date: Fri, 7 May 1999 21:07:27 +0100
From: Phil Wilson <>
Message-Id: <aabcdefg1574$foo@default>
Subject: Re: A question on D. Peltata and darlingtonia

>I'm a beginner trying to grow these from seed (thanks, UKCPS seedbank!)
>Most of the info I've found about CPs seems to refer mainly to growing
>in North America and our climate in the UK is very different. For
>example, D. peltata is tuberous and so ought to grow in winter,
>hibernate in summer. The UK winter is probably very different to USA or
>South African (I think thats where they come from?) conditions, being
>extremely dark and damp, especially where I live (and I might move to
>the west coast of Scotland shortly, which is even wetter and darker).
>I've not got any artificial lighting, so they are going to have to
>manage on a windowsill. Would it be better to try to grow them during
>our mild, brighter summer and then dry them out for the winter? Or do I
>keep the seed for a few months before sowing, and hope that they can
>cope in our gloomy 6-hour winter days? The brief UKCPS guide to growing
>CPs describes these along with other temperate non-tuberous sundews,
>and doesn't even mention the different growing season, so it either
>goes without saying or it doesn't matter!
D. peltata is normally a winter growing species (although some varieties
have adapted to summer growth). It is however something of an
opportunist so may adapt well to your growing conditions during the
summer. I'm not sure how it will cope with your 6 hour winter days - I
grow mine in the south West of England where the minimum day length is
around 8 hours. They certainly prefer a bright situation.

BTW. D. peltata is a native to Australia and New Zealand!

>As for Darlingtonia, I'm interested to hear if anyone can quantify what
>`cool roots' means. In the UK, high temperatures (by USA standards) are
>rare, but in full sun things can get pretty baked. Does it just need
>cool conditions overnight (which is easy enough to achieve) or is
>daytime cooking also a problem?
Darlingtonia are generally mountainous plants and are often found
growing along seepage streams of cold water. Consequently they are not
well suited to high summer temperatures. In their native habitat even
when they experience high temperatures their root system is kept
relatively cool.

In the UK overheating is rarely a problem - mainly because it is very
rare for us not to get a noticeable temperature drop at night. Even
during the hottest weather there is normally a temperature drop of at
least 10C. This seems sufficient to keep the Darlingtonias happy - as
long as the plants do not get excessively hot during the day you should
not have a problem. If I can grow them in the South West you should sure
have no problem in Scotland!

Hope this helps.
Phil Wilson
My Sarracenia plant list is now available at

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