Collecting and growing carnivorous plants makes a fascinating hobby. Remarkedly, this is the one group of plants that seems to attreact attention from even people wo have relatively little other interest in plants.
Carnivorous plants can be grown as indoor plants, in greenhouses or even outdoors in most parts of the world, provided you select the appropriate species for the situation, and treat them in an appropriate fashion.
AUSTRALIAN PITCHER PLANTS
CEPHALOTUS ‑ West Australian or Albany Pitcher Plant
Cephalotus follicularis grows naturally in swampy areas on the south coast of Western Australia, usually amongst dense scrub or reeds. It forms a low rosette of oval shaped shiny green fleshy leaves. A second type of leaf, often brightly coloured, forms the pitcher. The flowers are small, white to green on a tall stem to 60cm high. Apart from their strong perfume, flowers are so inconspicuous that they can often go unnoticed.
Pitcher leaves tend to be green if grown in shade, but will become reddish or purplish when exposed to light. On a vigorous, healthy plant pitchers can reach 5cm long. The lid remains closed until the leaf fully develops then opens on maturity. The lid usually remains open, but will close when conditions become excessively dry, to conserve moisture. Detailed knowledge of how the pitchers attract and digest insects still appears to be largely unproven.
NEPENTHES ‑Tropical Pitcher Plant
There are approximately 70 species of this genus from South-East Asia, Australia and around Indian Ocean.
Nepenthes mirabilis is a native Australian species occurring both on Cape York Peninsula and throughout South East Asia to Southern China. It grows as an undershrub or climbing plant in wet forests.
Leaves up to 30cm in length are scattered along climbing stems. The pitchers grow from an extension of the leaf midrib (ie: The pitchers are attached to the ends of the leaves). The inside walls of the pitcher are slippery (making it difficult for the insects to climb out) and secrete a strong digestive fluid which collects in the bottom of the pitcher to digest it's prey.
DISTANCE EDUCATION COURSE VHT107
TO ENROL, CLICK HERE.
Duration 100 hours (study at your own pace, on average taking 3-4 months part time)
COURSE AIM To develop an improved ability to identify, grow and discuss a range of carnivorous plants.
1. Introduction. Review of the system of plant identification, general characteristics of the group, information contacts (ie: nurseries, seed, clubs, etc.)
2. Culture. Planting, soils, watering, pest & disease, feeding, etc.
3. Propagation and Container Growing.Methods of propagating carnivorous plants.Propagation of selected varieties.
4. Pitcher Plants (Nepenthes) and Sundews (Drosera)
5. Other important Groups.
6. The Lesser Grown Varieties
7. Droseras (Sundews)
8. Making the Best Use of these Plants.In containers, in the ground, as indoor plants, etc.
9. Special Assignment.On one selected plant or group.
EXAMPLES OF WHAT YOU MAY DO IN THIS COURSE
- Indicate which is the genus, which is the species and which is the variety name in the following plant names.... Sarracenia purpurea X alata and Pinguicula primuliflora
- Compile a list of resource groups, people & organisations you have compiled.
- Explain the diversity found within carnivorous plants This should be concise and informative.
- Make or Obtain or mix up your own propagating mix suitable for sowing carnivorous plant seeds into. (If possible try to propagate using either seeds you have purchased or collected, or plants you have been able to buy or collect. Keep a record of progress...send a report when you pot them up.) Try propagating at least one carnivorous plant variety either by cuttings, seed or division.
- Contact a parks authority in your region and attempt to find out what is the law with respect to collecting carnivorous plants from the wild in your area. If a license system applies, find out what is involved in obtaining a license and what this license allows you to do.
- Visit a range of nurseries/shops which supply pots; and find out what is available. Take notes. Look for pots/containers which would be most suited to growing carnivorous plants in.
Carnivorous Plants Correspondence Course (Click for details)
CARNIVOROUS PLANT BOOKS:
Check our Bookshop www.acsbookshop.com
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