Just a quick update since I have not written a post in a long time.
It is now late summer and my Venus Flytraps have their largest traps of the year. Due to an unfortunate watering failure, my Sarracenia got some brown tops on most of the traps. VFT’s and Drosera are still doing fine.
I purchased an unknown Sarracenia at Lowe’s, but it did not survive (it looked pretty bad in the store but decided to take a chance).
My Nepenthes are still living at a friend’s house–I am considering moving them to my office, though I will probably need to purchase a small grow light in order to make this work.
Some carnivorous plants act as blue “fluorescent lamps” to lure prey, according to scientists in India.
The research team discovered blue fluorescent emissions from the plants’ “capture spots” when tested in ultraviolet (UV) light.
Carnivorous plants are known to attract insects with nectar, colours and smells.
But the alluring blue glow reveals a new prey capture mechanism in some species, according to the findings.
See the full article on BBC Nature.
I found out today that there used to be a liqueur/cordial called Ros Solis, containing extracts from Drosera rotundifolia. I did a little research and found the following passage in From The House And Farm Accounts Of The Shuttleworths of Gawthorpe Hall, In the County of Lancaster at Smithils and Gawthorpe, From September 1582 to October 1621 (pp 939-940):
Rosa Solis or Rossolis. This name belongs both to a plant and to a liqueur or distilled water. Of the plant two kinds are described, the ros solis major and minor; in English the great and little sun-dew, also youth-wort and in the north of England red-rot, because it rotteth sheep, and in Yorkshire, moor-grass. It is sometimes named salsi rosa, of the dew which hangeth upon it when the sun is at the hottest. The distilled water herof that is drawn forth with a glass still, is of a glittering yellow colour like gold, and coloureth silver put therein like gold. It is a searing and caustic herb, and very much biting. It strengtheneth and nourisheth the body, especially if it be distilled with wine, and that liquor made therof which the common people do call rosa solis. If any be desirous to have the said drink effectual for the purpose aforesaid, let them lay the leaves of rosa solis in the spirit of wine, adding thereto cinnamon, cloves, maces, ginger, nutmegs, sugar, and a few grains of musk; suffering it so to stand in a glass close stopped from the air, and set in the sun by the space of ten days more: then strain the same and keep it for use. (Ger.) Leigh states that ros solis is very common in our Lancashire mosses, and carries a pellucid mucilage, in which, he presumes, consists its virtues in atrophies. Mark. gives a recipe “To make a cordial rosa solis.” Rossolis was a liqueuor so called from the plant ros solis, or rosée du soleil (sun-dew). It was so great a favourite with Louis XIV. that a particular sort was called Rossolis du Roi. (Planché) In C. C. Dic. the ingredients were 8 handfuls of the herb, in a gallon of brandy, 3 lb sifted fine sugar, 3 pints of milk-water, 1 oz. powdered cinnamon, 1 oz. white sugar-candy, 4 grains musk;p all strained through a cloth. In Dolby’s Cooks’ Dic. rossolis seems to have merely retained the name and not the substance or essense. It consists of pickled ornage flowers, musk, roses, cinnamon, and cloves, with fine sugar, and distilled spirit of jessamine; then colored crimson with cochineal. In the Accounts, in August 1612, aqua vitæ [it is doubtful whether this was brandy, or a cordial fermented water, made of beer strongly hopped] and rosa solis cost 17d.; November, to my mistress for rosa solis and aqua vitæ at several times, 10s.; also a bottle of rosa solis, 6s. 2d.; December, three quarts of aqua vitæ for my mistress, 5s.; rosa solis 3s.; January 1613, rosa solis for my mistress, 16d.; and delivered to my mistress to buy rosa solis and aqua vitæ, 10s.; and in May 1617, a quart of rosa solis to my mistress, 3s.
My AC unit used to pump its condenser water right into my laundry sink. All I needed to do to access this water was to put the end of the tube into a jug. Any overflow would just go down the drain.
However, we ended up moving our HVAC equipment into the attic. Now the condenser water is piped into the house drain. This means that I will need to purchase distilled water on an ongoing basis. On a hot day the plants go through almost a gallon of water, which starts to add up at over $1 per gallon.
One of my local markets has a reverse-osmosis water vending machine, so I will probably start using that in September and October (our hottest months here in the SF Bay Area).
I went to our local nursery to buy some plants for my mom for her birthday, but couldn’t resist purchasing a couple of new Dionaea. I left them in their ‘cubes of death’ for a couple of days but put them in the open after that.
So far they seem to be doing well. These are small plants with traps no larger than 1cm, but each pot holds several plants.
At this point my outside tray is full–if I purchase any more this season I will have to set up another tray.
One advantage of our home remodel (that resulted in the death of my outdoor CP’s) is more sunlight in the back yard. In the past, there was an enormous cypress tree in the back which gave us shade most of the day. This tree was removed as part of the remodel. Without that tree, the back yard has almost full sun all day.
My current Dionaea has strong red coloration inside the traps, and this coloration is now extending down the petioles as the summer progresses.
Similarly, my mystery Sarracenia is getting some nice red coloration to the pitchers. At this point it almost reminds me of my old Sarracenia x ‘Dixie Lace’.
I will get some pictures up as soon as possible.
Much like a Sarracenia in spring, the Kimoto Carnivorous Plant Blog slowly struggles back to life.
A quick update: We decided to perform a gut-and-redo on our house. As a result, we were out of the house for around a year. After moving back in, my spare time was spent unpacking, de-junking the garage, decorating, etc.
Sadly, despite my best efforts, my outside cp’s did not survive the move. A combination of different climate plus lack of time to take proper care of the plants resulted in their demise.
Fortunately, my tropicals fared better–I sent them to live with my friend Dave, who has been growing carnivorous plants for many years. My Nepenthes and my Cephalotus are all doing well. I still need to set up a good place for them to live in the new house.
Although I have not had time to restart my minibog, I do have a few plants growing in a tray outside (1 Dionaea, 1 Sarracenia purpurea, 1 mystery Sarracenia, 2 pots of Drosera capensis).
We have several birch trees which produce copious quantities of seeds.Â Because of where my bog and outdoor cp’s are located, the seeds end up trapped in the space around the front porch.Â The wind causes them to swirl around and many of the end up in my cp pots!
I just spent 20 minutes the other day removing small sprouts from my pots with a set of tweezers.
As it turns out, the VFT that I thought had gone to that great bog in the sky has come back to life.Â After the near-death experience, it started to send up new leaves and now seems happy, though smaller than it was before.
I am happy to report that several adult pitchers have started growing from my Cephalotus. Last year, I got two adult pitchers. This year it looks like I should have four at least. I will post some pictures a little later on.
Other exciting news: Peter D’Amato, author of The Savage Garden (and proprietor of California Carnivores) is giving a presentation at a nearby Sloat Garden Center tonight. I will be attending with my friend and co-cp enthusiast Davemo.
If I get a chance, I will take some pictures of the event.
I also may pick up some new plants…