NEWS

date
22
MAY

May Meeting

The May meeting topic focused on members' growing conditions. The discussion gave us an insight into how our members grow their plants and the successes and challenges they experience. Many carnivorous plants can be grown outside in Melbourne with minimal protection and most members were growing at least some of their plants outdoors. Greenhouses provide extra warmth and humidity and a lot of members were using them to grow tropical genera, such as Nepenthes, as well as species that benefit from being protected from the elements, such as Drosera. Members were using different types of greenhouses, including shadehouses, glasshouses, plastic houses (polyflute and polycarbonate) with each having their own advantages and disadvantages in terms of the stability of the environment they produce, their cost and how long the coverings last. A few members were also growing plants in indoor terrariums, which has the advantage of providing warm tropical conditions without the cost of heating a greenhouse.

Amongst the plants brought in to the meeting, Julian's Sarracenia alata x leucophylla was voted plant of the night. This plant was producing attractive pitchers with white tops with deep red veining. Peter brought in a Pinguicula gigantea which was voted runner up plant of the night. This is a Mexican species that produces very large rosettes, particularly when grown in shady conditions. Sean's Drosera macrophylla came third for plant of the night. This plant emerges early in the season and Sean's plant was producing a mass of flower stems.

The species benched at the May meeting included:

Cephalotus follicularis
Dionaea muscipula
Drosera aff bulbosa
Drosera aff major
Drosera glabripes
Drosera lowrei
Drosera macrophylla
Drosera magnifica
Drosera peltata
Drosera planchonii
Drosera tentaculata
Drosera whittakeri
Heliamphora minor
Heliamphora purpurescens
Nepenthes aristolochioides x maxima
Nepenthes lowii x muluensis
Nepenthes veitchii
Pinguicula gigantea
Pinguicula laueana
Sarracenia alata
Sarracenia alata x leucophylla
Sarracenia leucophylla
Utricularia longifolia var forgetiana


Plant of the night: Sarracenia alata x leucophylla
Sarracenia



Pinguicula gigantea
Pinguicula



Drosera binata var extrema
Drosera


date
24
APR

April Meeting

The topic for the April meeting was Drosera, one of the largest and most diverse genera of carnivorous plants. Australia is home to a large proportion of the world's Drosera, with around 3/4 of the recognised sections containing native species. The Petiolaris group from northern Australia is not widely grown in Victoria, due to both their requirement for year round heat and limited availability from local suppliers. Sean brought in several species from this group and his Drosera petiolaris was voted plant of the night. Sean grows these plants under lights in a heated terrarium where the plants receive hot and humid conditions, similar to their natural environment. South Africa is also home to a several Drosera, most of these speceis grow well in Melbourne, due to the similar climate. Runner up for plant of the night went to Andrew's Drosera capensis, from Bainskloof. In nature, Drosera capensis displays quite a bit of variation in colour, size and growth habit, which is often underappreciated due to its reputation as a weed in collections. This Bainskloof form has a shorter leaves than the typical form and forms a thin stem as it grows. Several Drosera venusta were also brought in, with Peter's albino form of Drosera venusta also nominated for plant of the night. This form was originally isolated from a batch of seedlings sown by George Caspar several years ago and have since been spread around to collections across the world. Amosnt the other plants brought in, Sean's Roridula gorgonias won non-topic plant of the night. This doesn't tolerate hot weather well and despite having just come out of summer and having flowered in November, Sean's plant was showing robust growth and was looking great.

Dan Torre was at the April meeting and brought along his new book, Carnivorous Plants, published by Reaktion Books: ISBN 9781789140521. Dan's book goes beyond the botanical and cultivational focus of most books to discuss the cultural impact of these plants. More info can be found at the Reaktion Books website. Justin concluded the night with a slide show of his trip to Ireland and the UK, where he visited bogs containing some naturalised populations of Darlingtonia californica and Sarracenia purpurea.

The species benched at the April meeting included:

Drosera admirabilis
Drosera aliciae
Drosera binata var dichotoma
Drosera binata var multifida
Drosera capensis
Drosera cunifolia
Drosera curviscapa
Drosera darwinensis
Drosera falconeri
Drosera fulva
Drosera graomogolensis
Drosera hamiltonii
Drosera hilaris
Drosera intermedia
Drosera latifolia
Drosera petiolaris
Drosera prostratoscaposa
Drosera ramentacea
Drosera slackii
Drosera spatulata
Drosera trinervia
Drosera tubaestylis
Drosera venusta
Pinguicula emarginata x 'Weser'
Roridula gorgonias
Utricularia biloba


Drosera petiolaris
Drosera



Drosera capensis, Bainskloof, RSA
Drosera



Drosera binata var extrema
Drosera



Drosera venusta 'Albino'
Drosera



Roridula gorgonias
Roridula



Utricularia biloba
Utricularia


date
27
MAR

March Meeting

The March meeting was beginners information night. The topic plants were, fittingly, Sarracenia and Dionaea; two genera that grow very well under Victorian conditions without the need for a greenhouse and make excellent beginner plants while still holding their appeal for experienced growers. The Venus Flytrap, Dionaea muscipula, is arguably the most well known carnivorous plant. Despite it's small distribution range in the Carolinas, a combination of tissue culture mutations and selective breeding has led to a variety of plants of different size, shape and colour, with some cultivars barely, if at all, functioning as carnivorous plants! Sean brought in several giant trapped forms with his 'B52' and 'South West Giant' voted VFT plant of the night and runner up, respectively. Amongst the more unusual flytraps, Steve brought in a seedling of unknown parentage that was producing dentate traps. Sarracenia grow naturally from the Florida Panhandle into Canada and range from squat, prostrate species such as purpurea and psittacina to tall, upright species such as flava and leucophylla. Extensive breeding has resulted in some very attractive hybrids, although careful selection has led to many equally beautiful species in cultivation. Steve's Sarracenia leucophylla var alba was voted Sarracenia plant of the night. The leucophylla var albas produce striking pitchers with white tops and little veining. Steve's Sarracenia psittacina f. viridescens, an all green form of the species, was voted runner up. Steve also brought in a plant that has been in cultivation under the name Sarracenia rubra ancestral form.

The species benched at the March meeting included:

Dionaea muscipula
Dionaea muscipula 'B52'
Dionaea muscipula 'Fang'
Dionaea muscipula 'South West Giant'
Dionaea muscipula 'Big Vigorous'
Dionaea muscipula 'Low Giant'
Dionaea muscipula ('G16' x 'G14') 'SS10'
Dionaea muscipula 'G4' x 'G37'
Dionaea muscipula 'King Henry' x self
Nepenthes attenboroughii
Nepenthes bicalcarata
Sarracenia flava var flava x var cuprea
Sarracenia Moorei x Moorei
Sarracenia purpurea ssp venosa var burkii
Sarracenia psittacina
Sarracenia psittacina f. viridescens
Sarracenia alata var rubrioperculata
Sarracenia leucophylla
Sarracenia leucophylla var alba.
Sarracenia rubra var alabamensis
Sarracenia rubra var jonesii
Sarracenia rubra ssp. viatorum

Dionaea muscipula
Dionaea



Sarracenia Leucophylla var alba.
Sarracenia



Sarracenia Leucophylla var alba.
Sarracenia



Sarracenia psittacina f. viridescens
Sarracenia


date
27
FEB

February Meeting

The February meeting was the first meeting for 2019. We were saddened to hear of the passing of our Public Officer, Alex Whitehouse, on the 29/12/2019. Alex was a long time member of our society, having joined the society with his son Alexander and continuing an active involvement with the society when Alexander moved overseas to study. Alex will be deeply missed and we offer our condolences to his family.

The topic plants for the Febrary meeting were Darlingtonia, Nepenthes and Heliamphora. Darlingtonia californica is a montane plant from California and Oregan that needs a cool root system to grow well. Melbourne's hot summers can be a challenge when growing this species and success often comes down to comes down to a combination of trial and error and luck in finding a position that doesn't allow the pot to overheat. Several plants of different ages and sizes were brought into the meeting. Amongst them Jason's plant was growing very well and producing red colouration in the tops of the pitchers, something that is hard to do at this time of year as extra shading is often necessary to kee the temperatures low. Jason grows this plant on the floor of the Nep house at Triffid Park, where the low position in the large, temperature-controlled house presumably allows the plant to get very good light without risk of overheating. Heliamphora are found mostly on the South American Tepuis where they experience cool temperatures, high humidity and high light levels. Providing all three throughout the year in Melbourne is not always easy. Justin brought in a large Heliamphora ionasi. He grows this plant on the floor of his Nep house where conditions are cool and humid but also uses overhead lighting to improve the amount of light his Helis receive. Jason also brought in a large Heliamphora nutans with several flower stems. A wide array of Nepenthes were also brought into the meeting including a large Nepenthes glandulifera x vogelii grown by Jason that was producing giant pitchers of a size rarely seen in Melbourne, despite under 3 years old from seed. Steve's Nepenthes nigra, a species which normally has dark pitchers was producing attractive mottled red flowers. He also brought in a related species, Nepenthes tentaculata from Mt Kinabalu that was producing very colourful red "leaves" (petioles). Julian brought in a number of Neps that were pitchering well. He had cut the plants back and repotted them in spring and the plants bouncd bak and are growing strongly.

Amongst the non-topic plants Sean brought in a Utricularia fulva from the Northern Territory. This attractive species is not often seen in local collections. Sean is growing it in a heated terrarium with his other Northern Australian Utrics and Drosera but said he saw it in the wild growing near quite cool running water so it may not require such hot conditions. Steve also brought in a Drosera murfetii, a cool growing species from Tasmania. Despite coming from a cold habitat, Steve is having success with this plant, grown outside in a South-facing position where it receives afternoon sun.

The species benched at the February meeting included:

Darlingtonia californica
Dionaea muscipula
Drosera murfetii
Drosera petiolaris
Heliamphora ionasi
Heliamphora nutans
Nepenthes attenboroughii
Nepenthes burkei
Nepenthes eustachya
Nepenthes glandulifera x boschiana
Nepenthes glandulifera x vogelii
Nepenthes hamata
Nepenthes lowii x truncata
Nepenthes maxima x talangensis
Nepenthes nigra
Nepenthes sanguinea
Nepenthes talangensis
Nepenthes tentaculata
Nepenthes tobaica x thorelii
Nepenthes ventricosa x sibuyanensis
Pinguicula ehlersae
Pinguicula gigantea
Pinguicula heterophylla
Utricularia chrysantha
Utricularia dichotoma
Utricularia fulva
Utricularia uliginosa


Nepenthes glandulifera x vogelii.
Nepenthes



Nepenthes glandulifera x vogelii.
Nepenthes



Darlingtonia californica.
Darlingtonia



Heliamphora ionasi.
Heliamphora



Nepenthes burkei.
Nepenthes



Nepenthes lowii x truncata.
Nepenthes



Nepenthes nigra.
Nepenthes



Nepenthes ventricosa x sibuyanensis.
Nepenthes



Pinguicula heterophylla
Pinguicula



Dionaea muscipula.
Darlingtonia



Drosera curviscapa.
Darlingtonia