Tipitiwitchet – now He has got one of his Own to play with

Ah, the remarkable Venus flytrap – Dionaea muscipula. One of the most studied plants of all time!  A remarkable plant indeed.  Known only to grow in a small area of coastal NC and a county or two in SC, this is the plant that everyone things of when carnivorous plants are mentioned… rightfully so I suppose.  It just looks nasty!  Those jaws snap shut fast enough to catch a fly.  Think about how frustrated we get trying to do same thing (with our hands… not our jaws).

Here in zone6b, these plants have been blooming now for about a week. I didn’t think flytraps would be able to reproduce from seed here as the plants germinate right after the seed drops in the same season as opposed to the following spring as with Sarracenia. With our first frosts coming in the end of October, that doesn’t leave much time for a plant to establish.  Oddly,  I have found the odd seedling from time to time.

I figured that with these new bogs, it gives me the opportunity to test if they will reproduce from seeds.  I scattered about 1000 seeds from last year into the bogs the other day.  Seeing how I know where all the flytraps are in my new planting, any ones that show up in other spots will have come from the seed I spread. I’m also going to let the seed of this years flowers drop naturally, and see what, if anything pops up around the plants.

In closing, for all those people who were wondering about the title of this post, please take a look at this link on Sarracenia.com maintained by my friend Dr. Barry Rice. It gives a history of how the plant was named, and what exactly a Tipitiwitchet refers to! All I can say is that these old guys certainly had a sense of humor!

CJM

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