Tuesday, 13 August 2013

I just love this hobby

It's been a while since I posted a blog having been away on various trips and thought I'd share some images from my latest field trip to the wilds of Scotland.

Loch Achray home to D. rotundifolia and P. vulgaris
Loch Achtriochtan, Glen Coe

It's a hard life visiting the stunning locations where carnivorous plants grow. I thought I grew P. vulgaris well, but......

P. vulgaris, Loch Achtriochtan, Glen Coe
P. vulgaris, Loch Achtriochtan, Glen Coe

It was tough taking a detour to the hills behind Loch Tay. I had to suffer walking through this landscape searching for more P. vulgaris.

Loch Tay, Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve
Loch Tay, Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve
P. vulgaris, Loch Tay, Ben Lawers National Nature Reserve

On the way to Ben Nevis I just had to stop at one of several D. anglica sites. It had rained heavily the night and morning before, but the clouds broke kindly by the time I arrived. In places D. anglica just about kept its leaves above the water level, with others submerged.

D. anglica, Glen Coe
D. anglica, Glen Coe

D. rotundifolia, Flanders Moss National Nature Reserve
Raised bog, Flanders Moss National Nature Reserve
P. vulgaris, Samson's Stone, Bochastle

Sunday, 24 March 2013

2013 Nepenthes Tours

Stewart McPherson has organised three Nepenthes expeditions to take place in 2013. These trips offer intrepid adventures to trek through steaming rainforests to reach remote mountain summits to observe, photograph and experience spectacular Nepenthes plants in the wild. The expeditions are much more than carnivorous plant tours. Each trip is specifically designed so that along the way, you will encounter some of the most spectacular landscapes in South East Asia, as well ethical encounters with local communities to experience native cultures, and of course, a plethora of tropical wildlife. 
The expeditions will take place over June, July and December 2013. The exact dates can be finalised between participants to find the most mutually convenient dates.
The objectives of each trip include the following:

Philippines Expedition to explore the spectacular summit of Sibuyan (ascended by a knife edge ridge) to the habitat of N. argentii and N. sibuyanensis, and to Mount Hamiguitan (home to the spectacular N. peltata, N. micramphora and N. hamiguitanensis), a lowland trip to see N. merrilliana, N. truncata and N. bellii, and a climb up Sultan Peak, to see the largest of all Nepenthes of the Philippines; N. palawanensis.
Sulawesi Expedition to see the spectacular N. hamata, N. eymae, N. maxima, N. nigra, N. tentaculata, N. tomoriana, N. glabrata and (hopefully) N. pitopangii, as well as the amazing indigenous Torajan cultures.
New Guinea Expedition to see N treubiana and spectacular ancient petroglyphs by canoe, giant highland Papuan N. ampullaria and N. insignis, huge N. neoguineensis populations, and N. mirabilis. Possibly with an additional add on of visiting the famous Baliem Valley – home to fascinating Papuan tribes and cultures that have remained unchanged for thousands of years. 
If you are interested in joining one of these adventures and would like more information, including a pdf brochure, please email Stewart directly: stewart@mcpherson.net.
The expeditions are excellent value, and professionally organised with first class logistics, food and expert Nepenthes guides. The expeditions also raise funds to support the Ark of Life rare Nepenthes collection to further conservation of endangered Nepenthes species. So your participation will directly support the conservation of the plants and habitats you will experience.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

NEW CP BOOK! Dionaea The Venus's Flytrap

ISBN: 978-1-908787-10-1
Pages: 400
Images: 300
Page Size: 152.5 x 228.5 mm
Cover: Hard with Dust Jacket

Dionaea The Venus's Flytrap

For release before Christmas 2012

Order here 

The first complete monograph of Dionaea muscipula, the world famous "Venus's Flytrap". Described by Charles Darwin as "the most amazing plant in the world", this unmistakable insect-eating plant produces leaves that bear jaw-like lobes that dramatically snap shut when triggered. Native to only a small part of North and South Carolina, Dionaea is the most iconic plant of the United States and all of the Americas, yet it often remains misunderstood.

This long-awaited and visually beautiful book presents a uniquely detailed treatment of all aspects of the botanical history, ecology, evolutionary history, distribution and cultivation of this miraculous plant.

Also included in this work are detailed descriptions and images of over 100 distinct horticultural cultivars from across the world. These include formally registered (officially recognised) cultivars, and others that have not yet been registered but are popular and well known among horticulturists in many countries. Many of the featured cultivars have never before been documented or depicted, and are introduced here for the very first time. The cultivars covered in this work include:

Dionaea muscipula '1955'
Dionaea muscipula '1979'
Dionaea muscipula 'A2'
Dionaea muscipula 'Adentate'
Dionaea muscipula 'Akai Ryu'
Dionaea muscipula 'Alien'
Dionaea muscipula 'All Green'
Dionaea muscipula 'Angelwings'
Dionaea muscipula 'Australian Red Rosette'
Dionaea muscipula 'B52'
Dionaea muscipula 'BCP clone F04 Red Fused Petiole'
Dionaea muscipula 'BCP Clone X11'
Dionaea muscipula 'Big Mouth'
Dionaea muscipula 'Big Teeth Red Giant'
Dionaea muscipula 'Bimbo'
Dionaea muscipula 'Biohazard'
Dionaea muscipula 'Bristletooth'
Dionaea muscipula 'Clayton's Red Sunset'
Dionaea muscipula 'Clone XII'
Dionaea muscipula 'Coquillage'
Dionaea muscipula 'Crested Petioles'
Dionaea muscipula 'Crocodile'
Dionaea muscipula 'Cross teeth'
Dionaea muscipula 'Cudo'
Dionaea muscipula 'Cup Trap'
Dionaea muscipula 'Cupped Trap'
Dionaea muscipula 'DC All Red'
Dionaea muscipula 'DC XL'
Dionaea muscipula 'Dentata'
Dionaea muscipula 'Dentate Traps'
Dionaea muscipula 'Dracula'
Dionaea muscipula 'Ellis shark teeth'
Dionaea muscipula 'ERROR'
Dionaea muscipula 'Fangzahn'
Dionaea muscipula 'Fondue'
Dionaea muscipula 'FTS Crimson Sawtooth'
Dionaea muscipula 'FTS Flaming Lips'
Dionaea muscipula 'FTS Lunatic Fringe'
Dionaea muscipula 'FTS Maroon Monster'
Dionaea muscipula 'FTS Purple Ambush'
Dionaea muscipula 'FTS Shogun Star'
Dionaea muscipula 'Fused tooth'
Dionaea muscipula 'G14'
Dionaea muscipula 'G16'
Dionaea muscipula 'G3'
Dionaea muscipula 'Green Dragon'
Dionaea muscipula 'Green sawtooth'
Dionaea muscipula 'Green schuppenstiel'
Dionaea muscipula 'Green Wizard'
Dionaea muscipula 'Harmony'
Dionaea muscipula 'Holland Red'
Dionaea muscipula 'Jaws'
Dionaea muscipula 'Jaws smiley'
Dionaea muscipula 'Korean Melody Shark'
Dionaea muscipula 'Korrigans'
Dionaea muscipula 'Kynshaku'
Dionaea muscipula 'Long petiole'
Dionaea muscipula 'Long Red Fingers'
Dionaea muscipula 'Louchapates'
Dionaea muscipula 'Low Giant'
Dionaea muscipula 'Master of Disaster'
Dionaea muscipula 'Microdent'
Dionaea muscipula 'Mirror'
Dionaea muscipula 'Olivegr√ľn'
Dionaea muscipula 'Paradisia'
Dionaea muscipula 'Petite Dragon'
Dionaea muscipula 'Phalanx'
Dionaea muscipula 'Pink Venus'
Dionaea muscipula 'Pluto'
Dionaea muscipula 'Red'
Dionaea muscipula 'Red Piranha'
Dionaea muscipula 'Red Pluto'
Dionaea muscipula 'Red Sawtooth'
Dionaea muscipula 'Red Sawtooth' (Bohemian Garnet)
Dionaea muscipula 'Rose'
Dionaea muscipula 'Royal Red'
Dionaea muscipula 'Sawtooth'
Dionaea muscipula 'Scarlet Bristle'
Dionaea muscipula 'Schuppenstiel I'
Dionaea muscipula 'Schuppenstiel II'
Dionaea muscipula 'Sharp Tooth'
Dionaea muscipula 'Snake Dentition'
Dionaea muscipula 'South West Giant'
Dionaea muscipula 'Southwest Giant'
Dionaea muscipula 'Spider'
Dionaea muscipula 'Spotty'
Dionaea muscipula 'Sunrise'
Dionaea muscipula 'Tiger Fangs'
Dionaea muscipula 'Trichterfalle'
Dionaea muscipula 'Triton'
Dionaea muscipula 'UK I'
Dionaea muscipula 'UK II'
Dionaea muscipula 'UK Sawtooth II'
Dionaea muscipula 'Umgekrempelt'
Dionaea muscipula 'Wacky trap'
Dionaea muscipula 'Wacky Traps'
Dionaea muscipula 'WB3'
Dionaea muscipula 'Weinrot'
Dionaea muscipula 'Werewolf'
Dionaea muscipula 'Whale'
Dionaea muscipula 'WIP Slim Snapper'
Dionaea muscipula 'Zickzackkiefer'

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

D. x eloisiana

As a plant of beauty the natural hybrid Drosera x eloisiana (Drosera intermedia x Drosera rotundifolia) is hard to beat! D. x eloisiana is a rare jewel indeed with few examples across the northern hemisphere, and only a single confirmed location in Britain and Ireland.

Research, using molecular markers (Richards & Culham, 2011), demonstrated that the maternal parent for the British Isles population (undisclosed location), was D. intermedia and the pollen parent D. rotundifolia.

The population is present in at least two stands, separated by around 200 metres. One population has developed in a habitat most closely related to D. rotundifolia, within a rich a bed of sphagnum. The other in an open flushes that gently meander through blankets of sphagnum interspersed with D. rotundifolia, where it lives with impressive patches of D. intermedia.

The D. x eloisiana oodles hybrid vigor and has glorious, vibrant red traps, which can be seen at great distance.


Richards, R. & Culham, A. Planta Carnivora, Vol.33, Nr.1, Spring 2011
Bailey, T. Field observations, September 2012.

Photographs, copyright Bailey, T.

Friday, 31 August 2012

Places to Visit 1: Cairnsmore of Fleet

Across the British Isles there are many wonderful places to see carnivorous plants in their natural habitat.

From time to time we will post a few very accessible sites you may wish to visit, whether you are native to the Isles or are visiting from abroad.

First up is the Cairnsmore of Fleet National Nature Reserve, Gatehouse of Fleet, Castle Douglas. Cairnsmore of Fleet is a stunning location towards the south west of Scotland, in a remote part of the Galloways Hills where you will find Drosera rotundifolia and Pinguicula vulgaris.

Blanket Bog - Cairnsmore of Fleet
The internationally important Cairnsmore Reserve is predominantly covered in blanket bog, up to 10m deep in places and over 7,000 years old.

For the less adventurous you can join the Ibye Walk, which starts from the Visitor Centre and is only a short 45 minute walk. Much longer though when distracted by the sundews which litter an area of blanket bog on-route! The bog is found to the west of the path as you starting heading north up hill, shortly after starting your journey. This is a relatively dry area of bog, and can comfortably be accessed in a good pair of walking boots. Here you will find D. rotundifolia in large numbers amongst the grassy vegetation.  Further along the walk D. rotundifolia can even be seen growing amongst the mosses in a weeping rock cutting, once carved into the landscape to form a railway track.

Blanket bog - Inbye Walk
Drosera rotundifolia

Drosera rotundifolia
The more adventurous can access other trails across the Fleet Valley. These are challenging trails, and should only be attempted by well equipped and experienced walkers. Great care must be taken if you head off track onto the blanket bog areas along these walks, where with a good eye you may see P. vulgaris as well as the prolific D. rotundifolia. Unfortunately we are not able to give you a specific area for P. vulagaris along these trails, and if you do go to Cairnsmore it would be well worth contacting Scottish Natural Heritage for direction.

Bog pool - Cairnsmore of Fleet
Besides carnivorous plants the flora and fauna of the heather moorland and blanket bogs, along with the stunning scenery, make this a place not to be missed!

Golden-ringed dragonfly

For more information contact:

SNH Cairnsmore of Fleet Reserve Office
Dromore Farm
Gatehouse of Fleet
Castle Douglas DG7 2BP

Tel: 01557 814435

Friday, 3 August 2012

CPS Goes Cbeebies

On the weekend of 28-29th July the CPS took part in the Cbeebies Mr Bloom's Nursery "Get Set, Grow" tour.

Mr. Bloom's Nursery "Get Set, Grow" Tour, West Bromwich
With short notice CPS Chairman Tim Bailey put together a small team, a collection of plants for display and a children's show and tell, and headed up the M5 to West Bromwich. Accompanying Tim were siblings Eloise and Connor Bailey, and CPS member Mitch Raymond.

Mr Bloom's Nursery is a popular Cbeebies series where children learn from the experience of nurturing vegetables, tended by Mr Bloom and his team of young helpers ('Tiddlers').

Tim said: "It was a great opportunity for the CPS to showcase the hobby, raise children's curiosity (and parents!) and for the kids to handle and explore a range of carnivorous plants close-up [sundews, butterworts, VFTs and various pitcher plants] from around the World."

Mr Bloom filming on location
During the event the CPS did various bits of filming with the BBC, footage of which we hope to see on Mr Bloom's TV program sometime next year.

Promoting the hobby in this way reaches out to new audiences, sows seeds, brings new people into this fantastic pastime and supports our commercial and non-commercial growers - we lost count of how many requests for plants we had!

In all around 7000 children and parents attended the event, most of which passed our way.

Tim added: "It was relentless, just when you thought you had a few moments to take a breath another group of wide-eyed children descended. We felt we talked to everyone!"

The CPS would like to thank the BBC and Mr Bloom's Nursery for inviting us, for their amazing organisation and a for a great experience. We'd also like to thank Mitch Raymond, Eloise and Connor for giving up their time to support our hobby, and for helping give the children a window into the wonderful world of carnivorous plants.

Left to right: Mitch, Connor and Eloise

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Carnivorous Plants Growing Well In Coir

"After several years of growing Sarracenia in coir the anecdotal evidence is looking good!" says Tim Bailey, Chairman and Publications Editor for the Carnivorous Plant Society.

"Whilst experimental design to collect good quality data may be lacking to change hearts and mind, there is good reason to be hopeful suitable and cost effective alternatives to extracted peat can be found".

The Carnivorous Plant Society share public concern about the effects of global peat extraction on wildlife habitats and the need to protect peat bog habitats, and are currently looking into ways of providing robust evidence and guidance on alternative composts for carnivorous plants.

The plants pictured below have been largely grown in a mixture of 3 parts 'organic' Soil Association Certified coir to one part perlite. A few exception are a few Brooks Hybrids, pictured, which have been grown in a mix of Moorland Gold and coir. Moorland Gold is fine-peat which has been filtered from water arising from blanket bogs which would otherwise enter and build up in a water supply reservoir if not removed.

Plants grown in sustainable and peat-free compost - on display at NEC Gardeners' World 2012

Majority of plants grown in 3 parts coir to 1 part perlite

Brooks Hybrid - time to lower the benches!