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Thread: Sarracenia rubra varieties

  1. #1

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    I want to get an S. rubra but not sure which out of 3 kinds. The choices I have are S. rubra ssp rubra, S. rubra ssp gulfensis, and S. rubra ssp wherryii. What are the general differences in growth habit, size, coloration, care...

    I used to have ssp rubra but it was attacked by fungus over the winter. I know my mistake was keeping it too wet, it grows drier than most other Sarracenia supposedly. I heard that ssp rubra is the least sturdy of the varieties, so maybe gulfensis or wherryii.

    Thank You!

  2. #2

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    Hi Statik,
    S. rubra subsp. gulfensis is the more stocky of the rubras and the most coloured and has a good crop of autumn (fall) pitchers and generally as all Sarracenia unfussy plants. wherryi is nice small tidy plant and comes with different flower colour forms. Subsp. rubra is pretty similar in size to wherryi, but I prefer the wherryi for mouth shape; it has a definate downward spout to the peristome. Of course, there is Subsp alabamensis which produces some very nice pitchers in the fall, and also jonesii which last year actually produces some decent pitchers for me last year with its typically bulbous upper tube.

    The thing with the rubra complex is they like to form tight clumps and do need frequent division. It is also importnat to keep them clean around the top of the rhizomes, because scale insects, sooty mould and consequent poor lighting leads to botrytis or grey mould.
    Religously pull off any leaf bases that have gone completly crown and remove the previous year's leaf bases as well if you have any doubts by the folowing winter.

  3. #3

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    Rubra Gulfensis gets my vote! This form has very stocky pitchers wich as Mike has already said Colour up nicely in autumn. The form Mike and I have has solid blood red pitchers, easily one of the most attractive pitchers around at that time of year.
    Rubra's don't look anything special in the spring however. There first crop of pichers are somewhat weak and have a large wing down the front of them. The pitchers my plants produce at this time of the year on all subspecies exept Gulfensis seem to be 'S' shaped. Like Leucophylla, it is the later crop of pitchers that provide the best show, large and well formed, they last through to the following spring.

  4. #4
    gardenofeden's Avatar
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    I would vote gulfensis too, but alabamensis has fantastic autumn pitchers larger than any other. some of the more compact rubra ssp rubra can be very attractive too, I got one last year with almost pure red pitchers! you really have too see the plants, and the cultivar, before you choose as there is sooo much variation.

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