Bravo! An utterly arresting plant - the apotheosis of S. flava IMHO.
And how about S. flava 'Bob Hanrahan' in the same article! Having visited the CCs collection many times I can attest that it is a truly remarkable, gigantic pitcher plant and I am happy to hear they named it for Mr. Hanrahan, R.I.P. Thanks for posting KE!!
On another CP forum the question was asked with reference to S.'Waccamaw', "Why atropurpurea not rubricorpora?"
Here are the answers (two parts) I gave that I hope explains things, not least as to my position on the difference between the two varieties.
As the person who supplied the plant in the photos, I can add some information that may clarify and reinforce the things meizwang has said - particularly in reply to Alexis's query as to the plants correct varietal name. This is indeed a S.flava var. atropurpurea and a genuine Carolina one at that.
1) The plant in the photos is a asexual division of the plant below
2) The plant has been grown in New Zealand for over 30 years. It was imported initially by the Christchurch Botanic Gardens as a live specimen supplied from the USA. Subsequently, Christchurch Botanic Gardens ceased cultivating Sarracenia and their material, including this var. atropurpurea, was passed on to a private grower during the 1980s. After a short period that grower also wound up their Sarracenia cultivation and the atropurpurea was obtained by D. Gray in 1987. The clone has remained in the care of Gray and only two other people (one being me) and has been maintained as pure since it first arrived in the country all those years ago.
3) As a feature of New Zealand's second largest city, Christchurch Botanic Gardens was founded in 1863 and throughout its history acquired many exotic species. While details are not able to be confirmed, it is known that the atropurpurea clone was imported from the USA with it almost certain to have been a specimen collected from the wild given both the status of the gardens and the the fact so many plants were collected that way during that period.
4) The plant is a Carolina S.flava var. atropurpurea as distinct from the western Florida named "atropurpurea". The application of the varietal name to those significantly different plants, particularly var rubricorpora clones that eventually become fully infused, is the subject of conjecture. Verification that the clone pictured is a Carolina atropurpurea comes via the following:
a. It matches Don Schnell's original description of Carolina S.flava var atropurpurea based on field observations perfectly Link:
b. The clone is clearly of the same variety, both in colour and form, as wild atropurpurea native to Green Swamp, North Carolina featured in the invaluable photography of Jim Fowler (as referred to by meizwang above), they too matching Schnell's description. Particular note should be giving to the newly opened pitchers (as the ones posted here by meizwang and myself are) such as this one Link: , the form of the mature pitchers and, notably the veining on the column which is almost identical, a blueprint in effect (see meizwang's photos).
5) To address Alexis' question (a common one), the clone in question is in no sense a S.flava var rubricorpora based on the on the description and observations of that variety in the field:
a. Grown optimally, pitchers of this atropurpurea clone never have a yellow hood at any stage throughout their growth cycle. Prior to opening, that portion of the leaf that will become the hood is always red. This can be seen in both Fowler's Green Swamp field images and meizwang's here.
b. The form of pitchers of the clone are representative of the S.flava varieties that exist in the Carolinas. The pitchers are quite different from the Florida rubricorpora throughout the colour variability of that variety, including fully infused all red individuals that begin life as any other rubricorpora but that are then accorded the distinction of being two things at once in being named "atropurpurea" as colour fills in.
c. A feature of var rubricorpora, both in the field and in cultivation, is the low number of pitchers produced per growth point per season. This is well documented and a justifiably definable feature of rubricorpora that sets it apart from other S.flava. The atropurpurea clone discussed here exhibits the typically vigorous growth pattern of the related Carolina varieties as can be seen in the images of it.
I believe the misidentification of var rubricorpora as "var atropurpurea" readily occurs and incorrect classification has become widely accepted as a result.
I suggest that rare S.flava var atropurpurea as found in the Carolinas and represented by this particular clone is a distinct variety, as it always has been for a number of reasons - not least geographical isolation of ~700 miles from the highly variable var rubricorpora - and that the varietal name should apply to it alone. And further, that the name S.flava var atropurpurea should reflect this geographical isolation, as it does in reality for other populations within Sarracenia species, rather than reflecting a blanket reliance on colour alone as a determining factor.
One key aspect of what I suggest is the misidentification of S. flava var. atropurpurea in western Florida lies in the fact that within the colour variability of var. rubricorpora under nominal conditions some individual clones will express more red than others in the outer surface of the hood. Studying photos of stands of var. rubricorpora in western Florida will often reveal this variability including those rare individuals on the way to or actually being fully coloured up. Indeed, often it is those that genetically are of the darkest shade of red or toward purple that present this way. The thing to remember here is that var. rubricorpora pitchers open with a yellow hood even if in some individuals it eventually over time becomes fully infused with red along with the rest of the pitcher.
Here are some photos of mine that may reinforce my explanation. All the var. rubricorpora are from site collected seed from Liberty Co. and remain pure.
For a comparison between the varieties in question, in this one, a fairly typical var. rubricorpora sits in front of S.'Waccamaw', representing as it does the Carolina var. atropurpurea
The following photos from my outdoor grown collection highlight my submission that an individual clone simply cannot be credibly described as two varieties at the same time. As I say, the plants featured are essential wild specimens having grown from seed collected directly from var. rubricorpora stands (by an entirely knowledgeable expert I might add) so are completely representative of the variability of var. rubricorpora. The range of variability was described, correctly in my view, in McPherson's, Pitcher Plants of the Americas (2007).
1) Here we see a recently opened pitcher of an individual var. rubricorpora that no one with experience would describe as anything else, certainly not var. atropurpurea with that yellow hood. Granted it is quite an infused hood and notable thereby.
2) Here is the same clone as it appears 2 weeks later. Obviously the genetically driven infusion of deep red has continued until the plant is now fully coloured
3) In this photo, on the left we see the clone featured above whilst one the right we see another clone from the same seed batch. Note the difference in the degree of red infusion
The simple reality is that both are var. rubricorpora and started out the same way as all do - with yellow lids. As they appear in the photo, coming across the plant on the right in the wild, should it have germinated in the location rather than with me, one would say: Nice var. rubricorpora ! As to the one on the left? It would be incorrect to attribute it as var. atropurpurea on a number of fronts, not least that it wouldn't be known what it looked like a couple of weeks prior when it clearly would've presented as a var. rubricorpora. This is the crux of the matter.
What we can refer to when recognising var. atropurpurea as against var. rubricorprora are recorded field observations and subsequent descriptions (including by Schnell) of var. atropurpurea as found in the original location in the Carolinas (in population with vars. flava, cuprea - with which var. atropurpurea shares the same pitcher form and veining pattern - and maxima) and, particularly, the invaluable photos of wild var. atropurpurea captured by Jim Fowler within tthe Green Swamp. Fowler's photos clearly show that the colour (including when new pitchers are yet to or just opening where the hood is red from the outset rather than yellow) is distinct from var. rubricorpora from western Florida, as is the overall form of the pitchers themselves.
My position is that it is too simplistic to simply define the flava variety atropurpurea based solely on red colouring, thereby finding it where you will among any flava population. In the case of western Florida, yes, all red clones are to be found. But by virtue of the reasons I've outlined, merely referring to superficial colour doesn't tell the story, when pitcher form (including column height and angle of inclination as well as spout shape), plant growth pattern (var. rubricorpora is notorious for individual plants producing very few growth points and resultant pitchers per season), position within a variable but inherently nominal and genetically aligned population, and location - with that location being a vast isolating geographical distance away from var. atropurpurea in the Green Swamp are defining features. The "all red" plants in Appalachicola etc are var. rubricorpora and always were distinct from Carolina cousins.
It is my opinion, that the variety name, atropurpurea, was established from Carolina observations and, for good reason, should remain applied to plants from there. As pointed out by McPherson in Pitcher Plants of the Americas, complete with a photo line up, var. rubricorpora is intensely variable. That range of variability within the variety was followed up in his subsequent monograph, Sarraceniaceae of North America. However, the premise was put that var. atropurpurea individuals could be a feature within stands of var. rubricorpora, something I suggest is impossible.
I suspect a good deal of the confusion stems historically from exactly what you say Martin: "I thought a red tube was a red tube", based on those plants in cultivation in the UK decades ago. I submit this needs revision.
Interestingly, the fully red var. rubricorpora featured in this post continues to gain colour - all within a four week period from opening - until it attains a very dark purple with silver sheen in the column shoulders and mouth roll (see photo below). This colouration is not end of season degradation but early season. However, it still remains what it started out as, var. rubricorpora. Just a very, very dark and rather attractive one. Perhaps it defines a new variety needing a name......?
Last Edit: Jul 19, 2017 0:04:55 GMT -5 by kiwiearl
Thank you for sharing this here, I don't have time to visit all the forums and this is a very informative post that I would have otherwise missed. Your explanation is clear and your photos help to visualize what you are saying, thanks again!
What about this clone, from Florida? It strikes me as rather similar to 'Waccamaw'.
I have no idea of the provenance of the plant in the photo or the veracity of its labelling. Mike would be best to ask about this. As Mike has a specimen of S.'Waccamaw' he is in the best position to speak on any comparison (especially once the pitcher is fully open).
Cultivated plants aside, I speak to the difference of wild red flava as found in the Atlantic Plain from those found in NW Florida. My position is that colour alone viewed in a snapshot moment is not sufficient to warrant nomenclature that places vastly demarcated populations in the same variety.
Refer to the images in Sarraceniaceae of North America: Figs 148 & 149, Fowler's reproduced photos of wild Carolina var. atropurpurea; and Figs 146, 147 & 150 of purported var. atropurpurea from Florida locations. They are clearly morphologically distinct. This redolent difference can be seen in any number of photos of var. rubricorpora populations in Florida. Equally, in those populations some individuals are expressing alleles alternative to the nominal in becoming darker.
Indeed, Fig. 168 in Sarraceniaceae of North America highlights this: there are a couple of individual plants where the hoods are becoming infused to a great extent. Much like my examples, if one visited the same site two weeks further on those individuals may well be fully infused. My position is it is illogical to bind what can only be var. rubricorpora with var. atropurpurea. The darker plants among those Florida populations are simply at the dark end of var. rubricorpora colour variability. My suggestion is, why not recognise var. atropurpurea as by definition as a East Coast variety (not least due to its rarity) and recognise and celebrate that var. rubricorpora is widely variable variety native to a location many hundreds of miles away?
Last Edit: Sept 16, 2013 1:42:01 GMT -5 by kiwiearl
I realize that there are clones of var. rubricorpora that can become entirely red, and I agree with you that they should still be regarded as var. rubricorpora. However, I think that there are S. flava in Florida that are actually a red form of var. rugelii, such as the ones found in Blackwater River State Forest for example. I also agree with you that 'Waccamaw' seems to be of the kind initially described as var. atropurpurea based on specimens from the Carolinas, but I am not as sure as you that this kind doesn't occur outside of the Carolinas. Long story short, I'm convinced that there are at least three different types of S. flava that can be entirely or almost entirely red, at least two of which, and possibly all three of which, occur in Florida.
I agree with both KE and salpinx. A rubricorpora that becomes fully infused in time is not an atropurpurea. But salpinx has a point that there are plants in FL that seem to be all red but not rubricorpora. Such as these, from Okaloosa Co, FL - these Poinsettia-like individuals are clearly different: jasonksepka.smugmug.com/CarnivorousPlants/Sarracenia-Darlingtonia/i-5WkPQvQ
What are we to make of these Florida all-red specimens, which appear to grow intermixed with rugeliis and ornatas, but no rubricorporas? Write them off as introgressed hybrids? Perhaps Mr. Ksepka, the author of these beautiful images, could also share his impressions of these plants. If you haven't already, check out his whole site after you look at those pics - so many incredible images.
Interestingly, almost all images of the famed Blackwater red plants show them fully coloured up - clearly a great time to visit. Lacking are records of the site during that period pre or just post the pitchers opening. However, there is this and other images in jupertersnest's Blackwater photo record of the location
I agree, Jason's Okaloosa photos are terrific! Calen, in the second photo you refer to, yes, those are classic Liberty Co. var. rubricorpora (the plants I used in my examples are from those locations) with some tending toward the fully infused. Take a look at the left hand side of the image where a yet to open pitcher has a yellow tip/hood ie, a defining feature of var. rubricorpora.
The plants in the first image you refer to are very enigmatic, especially when backlit as they are. They appear to be some progression of var. ornata or an intergrade of varieties. This photo, again from jupitersnest, shows a plant that appears to be the same expression of the same genes but viewed by a lens in a different light - note once again the yellow hood on the newly opening pitcher in the foreground
Calen, you ask the question, "What are we to make of these Florida all-red specimens...?". As you point out salpinx, clearly there is a relationship between var. rugelii and var. rubricorpora in western Florida. Whether var. rubricorpora is a genotype expression of var. rugelii or visa versa is a chicken/egg situation currently. My opinion is the western Florida red forms are either variations within the wide variability of var. rubricorpora or the result of intergradation between local varieties that can present as an extension of var. ornata, albeit partly very red clones.
Worth looking at is this film, taken in August, of the Blackwater location featuring Carl Mazur. Note that the fully infused plants exhibit the very dark, purplish colouration as I highlighted in my earlier post, complete with the silvery sheen to the shoulders and mouth roll, as distinct from the east coast var. atropurpurea
Whatever they may be, one thing the western Florida plants are not, is Atlantic Plain Sarracenia flava var. atropurpurea. That variety name should be reserved for those rare genetics alone.
Earl I have a few seed grown rubricorporas. Theyre all around 2 years old and i'm seeing lots of variation in them. Some have red tubes, some are really veiny. Not like an ornata but the veins seem to be a lot thicker and more faint. I'm just curious if rubricorporas gain more color as they age or is the color pattern they have at almost 2 yrs old what i can expect from the adults?
The colour can definitely change as the plant matures. Seedlings of rubricorpora can appear quite different at two years than they will two years later. In fact, they can be wonderfully surprising.
Here is a good example, a wild seed Liberty Co. individual. First photo is as a 2 year old seedling back in 2003; following three photos are as a 3 year old the next season 2004 (when pitchers first opened the hoods were yellow). It didn't look like it would be one of the solid purple variants when it started out.
Just remember though, no matter what the particular genetics a clone has the variety is very sensitive, particularly to light levels ie, higher the better, for full expression of colour. They also can bitterly resent being divided/re-potted and will appear to lose colour until a future time. So, be patient and I hope you get a nice outcome!
Last Edit: Jul 19, 2017 0:10:52 GMT -5 by kiwiearl
Post by meizzwang on Sept 17, 2013 18:44:05 GMT -5
Awesome discussion, thanks for the detailed report Kiwiearl! I have to admit, I did see the "atropurpureas" in blackwater (okaloosa Co, FL) and to my shocking surprise, I also discovered some in Santa Rosa County, FL! I found 2 santa Rosa Co, FL sites with "atropurpureas" and all 3 sites are quite far apart from each other. I'll be writing my observations about them and posting photos in the next few weeks. After seeing them in the wild, I have a lot more information to help us understand these anomalous dark red genetics from the florida panhandle. However, I'm now on the fence as to whether these are originally transplants from the carolinas, or "real" atropurpureas that have evolved on their own. More to come in my photo essays!
Salpinx-while the atropurpurea I have is nice, it is nothing compared to Waccamaw in terms of how bright red the color can get, vigor, and shape.
Mike if its the same atro I PMed you about dont sell yourself short. Mine isnt bright red like the registered atro in the first post but a deep maroon color. I can tell when it grows up its going to look incredible. I think my sarrs like my back yard....no shade from sun up until sundown so everything is looking very colorful this year.
booper68: Hi Just got my order from Mike Wang. Order exceeded expectation! Excellent service Highly recomend.
May 23, 2022 19:19:53 GMT -5
iona: Hello everyone! I was wondering if anyone had extra Pinguicula grandiflora plants or seeds to spare, and they are so difficult to get in the US but think it’d be a great addition to my big garden.
Jun 3, 2022 16:47:17 GMT -5