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 glandulifera x vogelii.

Darlingtonia californica.

Heliamphora ionasi.

Nepenthes burkei.

Nepenthes lowii x truncata.

Nepenthes nigra.

Nepenthes ventricosa x sibuyanensis.

Pinguicula heterophylla

Dionaea muscipula.

Drosera curviscapa.