A carnivorous plant blog

My Newest Roommate

So this past weekend I attended my fourth (or maybe it was fifth???) Pacific Orchid Expo here in San Francisco. I’m always in awe at some of the amazing orchids I see there so I can imagine how bad it must be for true orchid aficionados. My favorite exhibit (AND sales booth) always belongs to Andy’s Orchids. They have an AMAZING selection of species orchids. In years past I’ve gone to their sale booth without a plan only to find myself dazed and confused an hour later not knowing what to buy. This year I decided to make things easier on myself and go with an orchid native to a place where most of my favorite Nepenthes come from: Borneo. After finding a friendly salesperson and giving her my criteria, she was able to track down a few orchids from Borneo for me. I’ll admit that it still wasn’t a piece of cake when it came time to choose but boy did it help! I ended up leaving the show with a Bulbophyllum macranthum. It’s not in bloom yet but the photos that I’ve seen online of the flower are growing on me :] Check it out:

Snow in SF?!?!

I got a kick out of the following website:

Apparently it was created after word spread that snow was expected in San Francisco. It turns out we DID get some afterall but it was a light dusting and only at higher elevations (i.e. Twin Peaks). Sadly I didn’t see any of the white stuff and I hope my CPs growing outside fared alright. I’m worried I should have dumped the water out of some of my saucers that my Sarracenia and Drosera were residing in. Hopefully they didn’t freeze solid. Guess I’ll find out soon enough…

The Lamentation of Mount Roraima

I recently found out about an expedition to Mount Roraima in Venezuela in the month of April. It would have been one of those “trips of a lifetime” to go explore one of the grandest tepuis in South America. On the mountain there is a fantastical array of fauna, flora and earthly formations. For carnivorous plant nuts such as myself, we would have the opportunity to see Heliamphora, Drosera, Utricularia and even some carnivorous bromeliads. To top it all off, the trip was being lead by Stewart McPherson (author of such books as Pitcher Plants of the Americas and Glistening Carnivores)!!! It also happens to be the 100th anniversary of Arthur Conan Doyle’s book The Lost World, which was inspired by Mount Roraima. As some would say, this would have been a trip of EPIC proportions. But alas, I got ahead of myself and later realized that it just wasn’t in my budget to go on the trip at this time. SIGH. 😦 I estimate the total cost to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $6,000. I hope they have another trip there in the near future but that, presently, is still unknown. I urge anyone with the funds to contact Stewart McPherson right away to see if there still might be an opening in one of the two expeditions headed to Mount Roraima in April. For now I’ll have to make due with this Heliamphora heterodoxa x minor in my living room…

SPECTAcular SPECTAbilis Hybrid!

Nepenthes spectabilis ‘Giant’ x spathulata

This is one of my newer, favorite hybrids that I got towards the end of 2010. It took a while to get settled-in but recently has put out two GORGEOUS pitchers and the growth rate of the plant seems to have increased considerably. I’m real excited to see how big the mature pitchers on this plant will be. I just hope it doesn’t out-grow it’s home!!

Purple People Eater

What’s not to love with a name like that?? I recently acquired a Sarracenia hybrid called ‘Purple People Eater’ from California Carnivores. Peter D’Amato told me it was a seed-grown hybrid they made back in the 9os whose heritage was lost. Apparently, a customer who purchased one of the originals brought in some divisions of his mother plant recently and I pounced on one of ’em! You gotta love those mystery hybrids. From the looks of it though it definitely has some S. purpurea in it. Right now the plant is dormant so all I’ve got to admire are some shriveled pitchers from this past growing season. Also, the plant isn’t as large as photos of others I’ve seen online so it still has a lot of growing to do as well. Hopefully with a little TLC it will end up looking like this one:

Hortus Botanicus

I’ve kinda been procrastinating about uploading my photos from my summer trip up to Mendocino County, CA. Fiiinally I got around to resizing and saving some of them from my visit to Hortus Botanicus in Fort Bragg. Let me just say that if you’ve never been there and you live in the Bay Area, then you really should make the effort to get over there. It’s such a cool little nursery with an emphasis on weird botanical delights. I’m talking succulents, orchids, bromeliads, South African natives, Australian natives and last…but certainly not least…CARNIVOROUS PLANTS! The owner, Robert Goleman, has a very impressive personal collection of carnivorous plants as well as many different genera of CPs available to purchase. I’ve attached a few photos below of the many Sarracenia species and hybrids residing there. Enjoy!

{FYI: another post about HB is likely to follow with more photos}

Neps as Bat Houses???

Just read an article the other day talking about bats in Borneo roosting and defecating in Nepenthes rafflesiana elongata. I’ve heard of Nepenthes such as N. lowii and N. jamban having pitchers adapted to catch bird poo but never heard of an animal like a bat actually roosting in aerial pitchers. Pretty interesting stuff. I love how nature is so adaptable. Seems like they’re discovering something new everyday over there in Borneo. I REALLY need to get there one of these days. Anywho, here’s the article:

2011: The Year of Opportunity!

Well 2011 is upon us! One of my New Year’s resolutions is to post much more frequently to this blog. The way things look for 2011 I’ll definitely have more to talk about in the carnivorous plant realm. For starters…I’ve currently got many different types of Nepenthes seed sowing as well as some Nepenthes cuttings taking root. Also, I just ordered various types of Drosera seed that should be arriving next week as well.

Looking forward to the BACPS Winter Meeting tomorrow at the SF Conservatory of Flowers!

BAck fRom ThE DEAd!!!

The blog you thought had given up the ghost has returned!! Just call it the ZOMBIE blog. Maybe if I start doing more regular posts I’ll actually have an audience, haha. So yeah, it’s been a minute since I last posted. The past 21 months have been kinda crazy. Sadly, my greenhouse is no more BUT the carnivores live on! I am now back in SF and growing my “indoor” CPs INSIDE (shocker huh?). It sure ain’t as fun as a greenhouse and I have less space but all things considered, they’re doing pretty well. It’s taken some extra tinkering (humidity trays, terrariums, changing potting mixes, etc.) but I’m making it work.



Boy it has been awhiiiiile since my last post. Lots of craziness going on in life. First and foremost was our move outside of San Francisco to Pacifica. Then came the whole unpacking thing and then the lousy economy and all this job uncertainty stuff. Blah. Well things have started to finally calm down here and…oh yeah…along the way I FINALLY GOT A GREENHOUSE!!! I LOVE IT!!! It’s definitely not very big (only measures 6×8) but it finally gives me a place to grow my NEPENTHES (and one Heliamphora)!