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  1. #1
    Grow Pitcher Plants! DroseraBug's Avatar
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    Quiz

    So I researched this question a long time ago and wanted to see if I could get a correct or agreeable answer.

    Who discovered that North American pitcher plants (Sarracenia) are carnivorous? The first correct answer might win you a plant.
    Last edited by DroseraBug; 12-28-2010 at 10:06 PM.
    "And this is what happened, and this is why the caribou and the wolf are one; for the caribou feeds the wolf, but it is the wolf that keeps the caribou strong."
    Farley Mowat

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    Fred P's Avatar
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    Wasn’t it Dr. Joseph Melichamp some time in the 1800s?

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    Charlatan lizasaur's Avatar
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    Wiki and another site suggest it was Carolus Clusius.

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    Grow Pitcher Plants! DroseraBug's Avatar
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    !!!***%%%&&&$$$ good answer!
    Last edited by DroseraBug; 12-28-2010 at 10:11 PM.
    "And this is what happened, and this is why the caribou and the wolf are one; for the caribou feeds the wolf, but it is the wolf that keeps the caribou strong."
    Farley Mowat

    My Growlist

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    Not Growing Up! GrowinOld's Avatar
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    My records show it was Darwin that guessed at it in 1875
    and that 12 years later Mellichamp demonstrated digestion and absorption
    by pitchers.
    Catesby thought they were a refuge for insects, hiding from frogs and other predators.
    Experience is the best teacher. At least it used to be.
    But then, common sense isn't so common anymore, is it.


    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=113866

  6. #6
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    According to Wikipedia:

    Botanical history



    First illustration of a Sarracenia from L'Obel's Stirpium Adversaria Nova, 1576
    Sarracenia were discovered as early as the 16th century, within a century of Christopher Columbus' discovery of the New World. L'Obel included an illustration of S. minor in his Stirpium Adversaria Nova in 1576.[10] The first description and plate of a Sarracenia to show up in botanical literature was published by Carolus Clusius, who received a partial dried specimen of what was later determined to be S. purpurea subsp. purpurea, publishing it under the name Limonium peregrinum. The exact origins of this specimen remains unknown, as few explorers are known to have collected plant specimens from the range of this subspecies before that time. Cheek and Young suggest that the most likely source is Cartier's expeditions to what is now Quebec between 1534 and 1541.[10] The fragile flowerless specimen that made its way to Clusius 60 years later was enough to excite his interest, but not enough for him to place it among related plants; his closest guess was the wholly unrelated Sea Lavender genus.
    The name Sarracenia was first employed by Michel Sarrazin, the Father of Canadian Botany who in the late 17th century sent live specimens of S. purpurea to the Parisian botanist Joseph Pitton de Tournefort, who thereupon described the species. Linnaeus adopted this name when he published his Species Plantarum (1753), using it for the two known species at the time: S. purpurea and S. flava. The first successful flowering in culture occurred in 1773. In 1793 William Bartram noted in his book about his travels in the southeast U.S. that numerous insects were caught in the pitchers of these plants, but doubted that any benefit could be derived from them.[11] It was not until 1887 that research by Dr. Joseph H. Melichamp proved the carnivorous nature of this genus. This finding was supported by a study by J.S. Hepburn, E.Q. St. John and F.M. Jones in 1920.[12] Extended field surveys and laboratory studies by Dr. Edgar Wherry in the 1930s greatly increased the knowledge of this genus, which has further been extended by the more recent works of Dr. C. Ritchie Bell (1949-52), Dr. Donald E. Schnell (1970-2002) and Mr. Frederick W. Case (1970s and the treatment in Flora of North America to be published in 2008).[11]

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    chezilla's Avatar
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    https://www.plantdelights.com/Tony/A...-Pitcher-Plant

    Sarracenia History and Background
    Sarracenias have been known to science since the 1570s, when the first New World plant collections found their way to European botanists. The botanist Carolus Clusius (in 1601) was amazed by the pitchers but was not sure of their purpose. In 1754, botanist Mark Catesby described several new species of sarracenia and noted that the hollow leaves served as some sort of retreat or asylum for insects. However, it was not until 1815 that James MacBride observed pitcher plants closely and saw that flies, attracted by nectar, entered the pitcher, where they became trapped inside and died. In the 1870s J.H. Mellichamp and W.M. Canby made careful observations of sarracenia plants and directly observed that the fluid excreted inside the pitcher hastened the decomposition of the trapped insects. Charles Darwin wrote a book in 1875 titled Insectivorous Plants which focused on sundews but also theorized that sarracenias were insect-eaters. Finally, in 1904, the scientist C.A. Fenner put all of the information together, and proved the carnivorous nature of sarracenias. Sarracenias were very popular in British gardens in the nineteenth century and, as is so often the case with our native plants, were not popular in the US until "introduced" back to America by the British.

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    Not Growing Up! GrowinOld's Avatar
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    Confirms what I originally said.
    So...
    I wasn't around back then so I assume the truth will be difficult to determine,
    and we will have to rely on those who documented their beliefs and findings.

    So, was this the right answer?
    Was the intent to find the correct or the agreeable answer?
    Experience is the best teacher. At least it used to be.
    But then, common sense isn't so common anymore, is it.


    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=113866

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