Carnivorous plants by Paul Temple

By Paul Temple

This revised "Wisley instruction manual" covers carnivorous - or insect-eating - vegetation

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Gracilis: small, easy, green or spotted forms. N. rafflesiana: large, vigorous, easy, beautiful beginner's plant. Recommended highland plants N. khasiana: c o m m o n , easy, good b e g i n n e r ' s plant. N. tentaculata: very small, straggler, beautiful spotted pitchers. N. alata: small, easy, some forms with subtle shades. UTRICULARIA BLADDERWORT Although widely distributed t h r o u g h o u t the world, this large genus of c a r n i v o r o u s plants is virtually u n k n o w n except to specialists.

A position n e a r a south-facing w i n d o w suits the majority of them. T h e tall Sarracenia species in particular require full sun a n d will o t h e r w i s e g r o w into long thin pitchers w h i c h are unable to support themselves. All pitcher plants need m a x i m u m light to develop their colour. H o w e v e r , there is s o m e risk of d a m a g e from the rays of the sun w h i c h , w h e n magnified by glass, may cause leaf scorch. Plants with fleshy leaves, especially Pinguicula, are most susceptible a n d should not be placed in direct sunlight.

Gypsicola, the leaf cuttings are treated slightly differently. T h e w i n t e r leaves are used a n d , after removing them from the plant, they should be allowed to dry out for a day before placing on the compost. If the leaves are left even longer to develop n e w plant shoots, seen as tiny b u d s at the cut end, excellent results can be obtained. Recommended plants P. 29 a n d 64). P. vulgaris: hardy, purple flowers, peat bog, not easy. P. 6 and 62). P. agnata: large, indoors, white flowers tinged purple at edge.

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