Greetings Zone6b readers… Sorry its been such a long time. We just got back from holidays in Zone10a (or central Florida!).
As far a Sarracenia go… the only pitcher plant that grows that far south is Sarracenia minor – the hooded pitcher plant. All other Sarracenia species stop growing in northern Florida just south of Jacksonville.
Historically, S. minor grew as far south as lake Okeechobee (I hope I spelled that right). That site is now a watermelon patch according to a friend of mine from Miami. Speaking of my friend from Miami, he and a couple of his friends were good enough to drive up and join me on a bog trip for a day. Yep, 95F degrees, the same humidity and a Real Feel Temperature of about 110F. It was warm!
The thing that impressed me the most was the habitat that the Carnivorous Plants grew in. I’m very familiar with habitats in the Florida panhandle and the south eastern US, but this one was very unique.
Below is a picture of a saw palmetto flat woods. The ground is dry… infact, we came across a few opuntia cactus growing among the saw palmettos. As you can see, no trees to speak of. However in the distance, you can see a large green stand of trees. Those are cypress trees, and they grow in a very, VERY wet area. The carnivorous plants grow in the transition zone between the arid dry conditions of the palmettos and the waterlogged conditions of the cypress forest.
Below is a photo of a butterwort species we found in this transition zone. We cannot be certain of its identity as both P. cerulea and P. lutea grow this far south. Our hunch was P. lutea, but unless you see it flower you can’t be 100% sure.
Here is the other location I checked out a few days later. The plants were growing in a low grassy depressed area in an otherwise dry saw palmetto flatwoods.
I talked with one of the preserve managers and he was saying he was hoping to get some fire in this area to clear away the grass and debris. This is a very healthy population of plants, but I agreed, it certainly could use a good burn.
The last CP of the trip was Drosera capillaris. I expected to find this one all over the place. It turned up around a man made pond in the neighborhood!
So… what do four hungry, tired, sweaty, stinky guys do after a day in the field looking for Carnivorous Plants? We exercise OUR carnivorous nature… we go for BBQ! We sat down to a “Feast for Four” at Dustin’s BBQ in Melbourne.
So long to my friends and Zone10A and back home to Zone 6b!