S. minor forms

From: Andrew Marshall (andrewm@olywa.net)
Date: Mon Sep 13 1999 - 10:36:56 PDT

Date: Mon, 13 Sep 1999 10:36:56 -0700
From: "Andrew Marshall" <andrewm@olywa.net>
To: cp@opus.hpl.hp.com
Message-Id: <aabcdefg3221$foo@default>
Subject: S. minor forms

Hi Folks,
    I have been experimenting with S. minor and S. psittacina for years,
trying to puzzle out the 'giant' forms and why they are so. Valuable info
was gained from touring various sites containing these plants.
    I noticed a corelation betwen water levels, soil medium and size, not
only for the two afore mentione S. but also for several Drosera species and
S. flava as well. I have since mimiced these results in the g.h.
    Here is a rough idea of what I mean.
    With S. minor I have taken 'typical' forms and 'giant' forms and grown
them side by side, with the same soil mix for both sets as follows. typical
and giant in live sphagnum moss with high water table, typical and giant in
a 4:2:1: peat, perlite, sand mix with a high water table, same again in
sphagnum with low water, and in the mix with low water.
    These plants were mostly divisions from each other, so it is a small
group, not really large enough to be called a good sample BUT it does show
    In the sphanum with a high water table, the giants grew to nearly 3 feet
tall, the typical to over 2 feet.
    In the soil, with high water, the giants grew, but only to about 18
inches or so. The typicals matched them.
    In the sphagnum with low water, the same results as for the soil with
high water, and in soil with low water, the giants didn't grow well at all,
barely getting much bigger then thetypical which stayed right around 10 " or
    High water defined as visible on the sirface of the soil and covering
it. Low defined as a 6" tall pot standing in two inches of water.
    Psittacina also seems to grow wildly larger when grown in live sphagnum
moss, but I have not had quite so defined results there. Some psittacina
clones I have refuse to get large at all, and some that were blooming and
tiny, have become massive things in regular soils. The only tihng that
seems to be common is the water table is always very high in the larger
forms, and those that grew excessivly large.
    Now to observations from the wild. I have noticed that certain stands
of S. flava get VERY big. I mean over 3' tall regularly and close to 4' at
times. These all grew year round with the rhyzome under several inches of
water. In the same place, there are higher and dryer ones that do not get
nearly so tall or robust. I have seen in my collection that some strains,
when subjected to similar treatment, they will also get very large. 40"
traps have been produced from what normally are 24" plants.
    And then there are Drosera species rotundifolia, anglica, capillaris and
intermedia. Many times I have seen these species in places where there is a
gradient to the site and those growing closer to the water were always
larger. Sometimes three or four times larger then companions only a foot
away. I have tried growing these in artificial conditions and have seen
that yes, there is a link with water depth and size of the plants. Not
certain WHY, but it seems the closer to the water, even into it, the larger
the Drosera.
    Has any one else noticed this quirk?
    So, with the dwarf forms of S. minor being discussed, I am curious as to
how these are grown. I would also like to get a few to 'play' with.
        Best wishes

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