Let ‘Em Eat Bugs

Wow, who would have thought this?  The New York Times, which every Thursday runs a “garden” column, last week ran a feature story on carnivorous plants!  And it was written by Ken Druse too. (Perhaps that’s why he said that most of the buyers of the plants happen to be men and boys.  Perhaps he didn’t see Gayla Trail’s post about the venus flytrap bowl at the Atlanta Botanical Garden either).

In any event, I’ve been a collector and aficionado for several years now–in fact, one of my earliest posts on this blog was of my giant tropical nepenthes (pitcher plant for the uninitiated) that I had just gotten at the Connecticut Flower Show in 2009.  I mentioned that it would complement my two existing tropical pitcher plants already at home.

I also have a small-scale version of a Sarracenia bowl–non-tropical of course–that winters on my sun porch every year and has done for several years.  If it made it through last winter successfully out there I don’t think I need to worry that it will survive any other.  Here it is looking fat and sassy after this summer outdoors.

These plants are native to the Carolinas–this particular plant is a hybrid that was purchased at Logee’s.  Always be sure when you’re looking for sarracenias that they are not wild-collected as they are endangered in their native habitat.

Over the years I’ve tried venus fly traps and sundews and other carnivorous plants but none survived as long as the pitcher plants for me.  They’ll survive me just fine–it’s the house-sitters that usually manage to do them in–so I’ve given up on those as much as I love them.  No point in taking possibly endangered plants and putting them at risk of at others’ hands.

If you’ve not tried these plants, the Times article gives a great list of sources for them. I have occasionally been able to find them locally as well which is of course always the better choice since you can select your plant personally.

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