Sussex County Virginia
This is another one of my favorite flava clones. Grown from seed collected from a power line right of way near Statesboro Georgia, this clone is a great grower. The veins in this plant go almost black in full sun.
I just wanted to share…. My pawpaw tree is going to have fruit for the first time! Pawpaws are native to the eastern US… and very rare in Canada… In fact they only occur in the Niagara area and the north coast of Lake Erie. Very few sites…. Maybe 14 total in Niagara.
They call it “The Northern Banana”. I love these things. There is a large stand of them very close to the school where I teach. Every September, I go into the woods to collect Pawpaws!
This is one of my all time favorite flavas. Some may call it var flava, while some var ornata. Whatever you call it. I call it beautiful. This flava comes from an extinct Virginia location called Gary’s Church.
Us folks in colder climates are always limited in what we can grow outdoors… cause of this thing called “A FREAKING HORRIBLY COLD SNOWY TIME OF YEAR THAT CAUSES DEPRESSION AND THE NEED TO HOLE UP IN YOUR HOUSE”, better known as Winter.
Slowly but surely, I plan on trying to see if other North American species are hardy outside here. I haven’t tried any North American pinguicula yet. My friend in Virginia grows them outside… and he gets cold, So its something I’d like to try. Anyway, that’s for another post.
What you are looking at in the photos is Drosera binata. This species and all its forms have proven hardy here in zone6B. They die to ground every year, but come back from the roots. I don’t know if that’s what happens in their native habitats (Julian?), but they don’t seem any worse for wear. I’ve grown these outside for eight years now… and never had an issue! They produce copious leaves and flower prolifically! I don’t know if they will reproduce from seed, I’ve never let them seed! I always cut off the stalks. Maybe this year I’ll leave them and see what happens
I took this photo over a week ago and finally have time to post it… At first glance it looks like it could be a flower of flava x leuco flower or flava x purpurea. There is probably some truth the latter.
As you all know, S. flava produces very large yellow, cat pee smelling flowers! Well these flowers are large and do smell like cat pee! but they aren’t yellow! These are the famed “pink flowered” flavas from Bay Co. Florida. They originated from what is now a pine plantation in what was once a bog called Cook’s Bayou. These plants are 100% morphologically S. flava. The leaves turn red in full sun and in many cases these have been called atropurpurea by many growers. However, unlike true atros, these flowers are pink and get darker as flower gets older. I’ve had conversations with many other growers over the years regarding these plants. The consensus seems to be that these plants are of hybrid origin, likely introgressed with S. purpurea and backcrossed many times with flava. Over time, it has yielding a flava looking plants with lots of red pigment in the leaves and a flush of red in the flowers.
My bog gardens are loaded with Drosera filiformis var filiformis. This form is native to the northeastern US and and from three sites in southern Nova Scotia, Canada. There are also a number of disjunct populations in North Carolina.
Drosera filiformis var tracyi is the southern form of this plant, it grows in the Florida panhandle and west to Louisiana (so says wikipedia!). Because it also forms hibernacula just like its northern counterpart, I figured it was hardy enough to survive here. I’ve tried it a number of times with mixed results, some years it comes through, others it rots! The majority of trials have been a failure. Its safe to say that here in my conditions, var tracyi is not a good choice for outdoor cultivation.
I also grow ‘x california sunset’. it is hybrid between var filiformis and var tracyi. It is very robust and grows very well here in zone6b. This is likely due to the var filiformis gentics.
Last summer, I decided to try the last of the filiformis varieties outside. There is a form of red filiformis (pictured above) that come from the panhandle of Florida. They are considered var filiformis (I think), but in my opinion deserve their own taxonomic status. They are morphologically different in many ways. I’ve read that in some cases, it forms hibernacula, and in some cases it doesn’t. Being a native to the gulf coast, I figured they would not survive outdoors here.
I got a couple of young plants from a friend and put them in the bog last summer, fully expecting them to turn into a black puddle of mush come spring. To my surpise, as I was pulling out seedling Dawn Redwood trees from my bogs, I spotted these little filiformis sundews in the place where I put them last summer! They were alive and well and growing like crazy. I will have to see if this was just a fluke, or if they will persist year to year! Hopefully they will!