Sarracenia Flowers and Pollination

Yokiebear

Sprout
Hello Pitcher Plant Lovers,

A few years ago we bought two pitcher plants from our local VanDusen Botanical Garden plant sale (Vancouver) and this year (year 3) our plants sprouted around 25 flowers. Watching the pitcher plants grow back every year has been pretty cool and we wanted to see if we can grow them from seeds. I wanted to know if there are any guides you could refer me to on pollinating and collecting the seeds? How do you know when the flower has been pollinated. What does the sarracenia stigma look like? Are the seeds in that bulbous sac attached to the stem under the main flower? How do you know you can harvest the seeds or do you have to let the flowers drop?

In May I tried to q-tip the pollen around in a few of the flower heads but then I kept on finding ants in the flowers so I was thinking that maybe they are already doing the pollination job for me.

These little bug eyed flowers started to pop up in April.
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After the flowers started to open I thought I would q-tip it to try and pollinate them.

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This last week Jun 21st - some of the flowers look like they are done for the season.

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Yokiebear

Sprout
Thanks for the information and video everyone.
Wow, that was a really good video and exactly what I was looking for - except for the fuzzy 2009 video quality but I got the overall picture of what to do.

I have been seeing lots of bumble bees this season so I will start to train my bee's right away but in the mean time, I now know where to stick my q-tip.

From my pictures above are you able to tell me what two types of sarracenia I have?
 

Lloyd Gordon

Parasitic Plant Aficionado
Staff member
The ones with yellow flowers look like flava's.
The trick with the bees is to get them to beehave.
 

daniella3d

Carnivorous Plant Addict
But then if you want to make specific hybrids you have to start training your bees and bees are terrible listeners.
Yes for specific hybrids, but he only has 2 plants, so it is best to let nature work here.

From the pictures, since they are curved leaves, it could be oerophila. Hard to tell without seing the actual pitcher or the flowers.

But, you will have to stratify your seeds, leave them in the fridge in a moist paper towel, in a ziploc bag, for about 5 to 6 weeks, then they must be raised with a good led light if you want to have plant growing in less than 5 years to maturity. If you leave them outside, and with dormancy, they will take a long time to mature.
 

Yokiebear

Sprout
Thanks Lloyd and daniella3d for the plant ID’s. When I was pulling the plants out to snap some better pictures I found some old white sticks with names. The small one with brown and green flowers was Oreo and the larger green plant was Phylia. So I think you guys are pretty spot on.

Sorry about the sideways images - there didn’t seem to be a method to rotate them.

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Lloyd Gordon

Parasitic Plant Aficionado
Staff member
Our forum doesn't have the Xenforo rotate function. You can put the pictures into MSPaint and rotate them. I did that for the bottom picture.
 

daniella3d

Carnivorous Plant Addict
Looks like the first one could be a hybrid of oerophila and something else, maybe oreophila x rubra. What was the color of the petals? they look red? The last one looks like oreophila.

I am sure some other more competant people will be able to ID the sarracenia with the red petals.
 

Yokiebear

Sprout
Thanks Lloyd for the tip on fixing the pictures.
The funny thing is that they look good on the iPhone photo app or Google Photo’s but it gets all rotated when it uploads to Xenforo. I guess it’s some photo property Xenforo cannot decipher.
 

Yokiebear

Sprout
Thanks daniella3d for the subsequent plant ID.
On the taller plant that was labeled Phylia the pedals were green and yellow and on the smaller plant labeled Oreo the pedals were green and reddish brown.

Pictures from late Aprilearly May.

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Pictures from tonight Jun 22nd.
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Thanks for the link to Carnivoregirl’s post, my seed pouch looks smooth and NOT pimple plump so I am wondering if I will get any seeds this fall.
 

daniella3d

Carnivorous Plant Addict
I don't think you can trust your labels. Phylia does not mean much. There is oreophila, leucophyllia. Where did you get the plants from?
The one with the curvy leaves and green/yellow petals is most probably oreophila. The other, I am not sure. Some members here are much more able to identify it than me.
 

Yokiebear

Sprout
We purchase them from our annual VanDusen Botanical Garden plant sale 3 years ago, every year hundreds of plant enthusiast come out to purchase hard to find, unusual plants at this market plus we got to roam around the gardens for free. The two I bought were the last two left on the table - the two that no one else wanted.

I just bought a gigantic bag of peat moss to experiment with split up some of them and to give it more room to grow. I am going to keep my fingers crossed that by the fall I will see some viable seeds pods drop. I read on one of the websites that it needs a medium of 50% peat and 50% sand to grow in, right?
 

daniella3d

Carnivorous Plant Addict
I use 75% spagnum peat and 25% perlite. No sand. For the seedlings I use the same mix. I never found a sand that was not leaching mineral so I use perlite. It's safe once rinsed well.

I know you might want to grow the seeds from your plants, but you can buy much more interesting hybrid seeds from the web, for not so expensive. If you're going to invest in a growing setup, not sure I would do it with those 2 plants. I bought suberb cross from Europe, Italy, France and USA. It's a long time investment and money as well to grow sarracenia seedlings till maturity, and while at it, you might be better off doing it with a more specific cross that could put some more variety into your collection. I don't see any gain from growing the seeds from those 2 plants.

Here is a single batch of seeds that I got from ebay for 6$. It was open pollinated, so the father plants are what ever was around that mother plant, but you can see how interesting it can get and how much variety you can gain from that.

See, all these sarracenias are from a single pod of ''leucophyllia green X OP'', but you can get amazing plant from rare and prized plants. Like I got from Italy ''Iamsatyricon X self'' and they are growing nicely. I will have to wait another 3 to 6 months before I really see what they will look like, but you can get so many superb cross from rare and expensive sarracenias, why waste resources and time raising plants that will look so similar to what you already have? With your current sarracenias, you might end up with hundreds of similar looking sarracenias, and what will you do with all of them?

10177
 

daniella3d

Carnivorous Plant Addict
BTW, if you ever want to buy seeds, Olivier Bres from sarracenia addiction is a very good seller. He's got tons of superb and rare sarracenias cross and the germination rate of his seeds is excellent usually. He's giving a lot of seeds too, sometime as many as 50. I have grow many of his seeds and got some really good results. I missed the seeds on ebay from Cedric carnivores from France, that would have been amazing too. It's really fun to buy seeds from very specific cross and watch the results.


 

Yokiebear

Sprout
Those are cool looking sarracenia's you have grown - I definitely see what you mean by more interesting hybrids - they look awesome. Thanks for teaching me a new term, I never knew what OP meant.

I did not know that we could import seeds from Europe (I've been watching too many Border Security shows) - you are right 8 euro's is pretty cheap for seeds but I think this year will be my trial & error year and I will try and make use of what I have on hand. I won't be able to return the Peat moss but I can buy a bag of Perlite to mix it together if you think sand will be bad for it. I didn't want to put a lot of expense into an indoor growing setup so I was thinking I could just sprinkle the seeds in a pot and leave outside during the Vancouver winter to stratify and see how it goes. Am I asking for disappointment going down this road?

When I first thought of this, "growing sarracenia from seeds" I was thinking I could setup an in ground kiddie pool of sarracenia's in the middle of my lawn but now I am thinking the wife would frown on that idea.
 
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