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Thread: Rarity of Genlisea

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    Rarity of Genlisea

    I've been wondering for a long time why Genlisea is (or at least seems to be) so rare. The ICPS suggests growing them like terrestrial utrics, which doesn't seem particularly difficult to me. And a few sources mention that they can be weedy like terrestrial utrics. Yet I don't know any place in the US that sells them, and they seem to be rarer in cultivation than some more difficult plants, such as Heliamphora and tuberous sundews.

    Are they just really rare in the wild? Or could it just be that there isn't much demand for them? I mean, it's not like they are a newly discovered genus of carnivorous plants like Philcoxia are. So why are they so rare?
    Last edited by Tanukimo; 03-06-2014 at 01:21 AM. Reason: added space between paragraphs for readability

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    Decumbent Fanatic Jcal's Avatar
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    I got my first plant in a trade a few months ago. I had a hard time tracking it down with multiple "want" posts in this forum as well as others. It is a slow grower for me, and just recently started making a small un-impressive rosette of leaves on the surface of the soil. So I can see why most people wouldnt be attracted to these, but us utric lovers should be crawling with them! We are used to only growing the green for the flowers!

    I also can not pinpoint the reason why they are so hard to find.

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    They can be touchy. Too cold and they will die without fail, pretty much. They will come and go without reason sometimes. I have some in a netpot, the one in the pot died, and several have sprouted around the edges, partially underwater. Mine have grown slowly, and several attempts to "speed up" propagation have not done much. One new one I got going from a leaf pulling, it died after about seven months, and it had put out at least one substantial trap.
    I have seen pics of large plants and plantlets filling up netpots. I don't know where that is, or who is doing it or how. Mine usually grow glacially slowly. Though in summer a bit faster. Have not yet tried outside in the summer, but might this year. Some new ones coming in the mail I think, crossing my fingers for that. In a way like Aldrovanda. You see the blow up pics and then the actual plant. Then you grow to appreciate it for what it is.

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    theplantman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pearldiver View Post
    They can be touchy. Too cold and they will die without fail, pretty much. They will come and go without reason sometimes. I have some in a netpot, the one in the pot died, and several have sprouted around the edges, partially underwater. Mine have grown slowly, and several attempts to "speed up" propagation have not done much. One new one I got going from a leaf pulling, it died after about seven months, and it had put out at least one substantial trap.
    I have seen pics of large plants and plantlets filling up netpots. I don't know where that is, or who is doing it or how. Mine usually grow glacially slowly. Though in summer a bit faster. Have not yet tried outside in the summer, but might this year. Some new ones coming in the mail I think, crossing my fingers for that. In a way like Aldrovanda. You see the blow up pics and then the actual plant. Then you grow to appreciate it for what it is.
    I grew Genlisea for about 3 years. It was violacea x lobata. I found that my experience was similar. Very slow in growth. I originally planted it in almost straight 100% peat and kept it in a water tray. It appeared to languish in this condition and, just seeing this in other plants, I suspected it would appreciate more drainage. The roots didn't get very long and that's usually a sign a plant is hating anerobic conditions. I repotted it into something like peat:sand:vermiculite, 6" square durapot, and kept it out of the tray, and it persisted for 1 1/2 years this way... with much deeper/longer roots. It flowered like crazy and even made plantlets on the inflorescence. Now I wish I'd taken pictures. I honestly never found the plant particularly interesting, because in order to show anyone the "cool part" of the plant I had to uproot it and do damage--so I never did that for fear of setting it back or killing it. I do root-feed all my CPs with a dilute blend of chemical fertilizers, but am not sure what effect this had on growth or longevity or flowering. I never had time to gather pond water or daphnia or anything because I have so many other plants, so it was living in an artificial greenhouse environment without much to eat. It eventually died after 3 years from a cause I was unable to ascertain even though the plant seemed fine. It was shortly after flowering. I don't believe they're supposed to be short-lived perennials, but I've had some butterworts (same family) do that to me. Maybe there's a genetic, preprogrammed basis for what I saw. I swear the plant had nice green leaves and seemed perfectly fine, and then collapsed in under a week. Very quick. Mystifying. I was having mass Fusarium infections that year around the same time--maybe it's susceptible to that. I lost quite a few Pings too, and I know for certain they can get Fusarium.

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    NatchGreyes's Avatar
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    Oh, I can answer this - I have a G. hispidula. When I got it, everything I read said that it grows just like terrestrial Utrics, but won't spread. I've found out that is kind of a lie. Most of the Utrics I grow don't particularly care if they sit in the tray of water in the window with the Darlingtonia and tropical 'dews or if they go in the Nep tank (which has about a 20 degree temp change every day due to lights/heating and around 100% humidity). I found my G. hispidula cares, a lot.

    Outside of the tank it grew very slowly, shrinking from 5 leaves, when I got it, to 4, on average. A new leaf would replace a dying leaf. It was sad. Then, I decided to throw it in the Nep tank. In a month it has more leaves than I care to count and is sending up a flower stalk.

    My conclusion is that it's a pickier plant. I did repot it at some point, because it had slime mold in its pot (which it does again), but it doesn't seem to mind. It like to be treated like an Orchiodes Utric, specifically, in the same way that I grow U. calycifida.

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    I agree with natch its a pickier species, its very slow-growing, easily stressed and also not everyone wants them (just like a few number of people are fond Utricularia (I love Utricularia)) because they don't see the traps this genus has even less admirers, and thus its not as widespread, thus not many people talk about them. I used to have Genlisea roraimensis from mount roraima until it rotted it was my crown jewel! although small. they do have them for sale overseas and theyre cheap but shipping and other things to take care of aren't as cheap so there isn't an incentive to get them. And those that place orders are rarely interested in picking it up for the ride as well.
    Gen 1:11

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    I have a strong gut feeling that the openings in the roots can more easily serve as a site for infection compared to other plants. Thus, a "cost" of carnivory.

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    Thanks for all the replies. Given what has been said, it makes sense that Genlisea isn't a plant most people would want. Hopefully that will change in the future as their cultivation requirements are better understood.

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