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Thread: De Soto National Forest (S. alata, S. psittacina) DUW

  1. #9
    Natalie's Avatar
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    Thanks guys! The plants down there were incredible. Although it's almost certainly illegal to take cuttings of the pitcher plants there (haven't even looked into it), if someone did introduce some of those plants to the hobby, S. alata would definitely lose its reputation as the "boring" species. The one with the red tube and filly yellow lid is my favorite of the bunch. One interesting thing I noticed about the plants at this location was that they were shorter than the ones at the first population I found... These ones were mainly in the 12-24" range, while the other population tended to be 24-30" or more. Not sure if that has to do with genetics, the habitat, or something else. Also, I didn't see a single hybrid between the two species there. I've always read that where more than one Sarracenia species occur, some hybrids can be expected. But I searched through thousands of plants and didn't see a single intermediate plant.

  2. #10
    jlechtm's Avatar
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    Beautiful photos, Natalie.

    I haven't found hybrids in the area you described, but I have found pink-flowered alatas there, at a time when late alata blooming overlapped with early psittacina blooming. My hypothesis is that the pink expression in the petals may be the last remnant of psittacina parentage in these few "alatas".

    All of these photos were taken on the same day (April 22, 2004) in DeSoto NF:

    Pink-flowered alata


    Another pink-flowered clone


    "Wild-Type" alata flower


    S. psittacina flower


    Just to the east in SW Alabama, I have found a similar phenomenon with S. rubra wherryi and S. alata. There are "wherryi" clones that have yellow and orange and pink flowers, while the pitchers themselves are virtually indistinguishable from their wherryi neighbors (they may be slightly taller on average). S. alata can be found well back in the brushline behind this roadside site, and I'm assuming that hybridization is at work here as well.

    Perhaps the reason your frilly yellow w/red tube alata is shorter than the rest is due to this as well?
    Last edited by jlechtm; 06-06-2012 at 06:11 AM.
    Growing CP since 1975. Succeeding (more or less) since 1990.

    Sarracenia & Heliamphora Growlist

  3. #11
    Natalie's Avatar
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    Awesome photos! Unfortunately all the flowers I saw had long since dropped their petals, so I didn't get to see any pink-flowered forms. The Alatas in De Soto NF were on average shorter than the ones I found down south, put the one with the frilly yellow lid was actually one of the taller ones for that population (about 24" tall).

  4. #12
    Sphagnum Guru Wire Man's Avatar
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    Amazing variety of alatas! They all look so good, and big. I really like the darker ones. Love the herp photos, too. Very nice snakes.

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