Pitcher Plant

"It is only Her Majesty's dogs & her parrot. Clop-trop!
The Ladies in Waiting, Porter. Clop-trop!"

-Amy Lowell


The carnivorous bog I started early in 2002 included the garden hybrid named 'Ladies in Waiting,' a bright red pitcher plant with white speckling. It is Sarracenia leucophylla hybridized with S. rubra x S. psittacina, developed in North Carolina by Larry Mellichamp & Rob Gardner, & registered as a new cultivar in 1998. The other plant in the foreground is a Cobra Lily (Darlingtonia californica).

Ladies-in-Waiting can grow two feet high, but this young one was only about four inches tall. It produced new pitchers all summer long, & began spreading quite rapidly in its little boggy area so that I worried it might crowd out a less vigrous pitcher plant. In April & May it sent out 18 inch stems with saucer-shaped bright maroon flowers.

But then, alas, a racoon ripped the bog garden to smithereens, & what it didn't destroy the first time it further squashed a few nights later. I did what I could to make the area less appealing to the racoon. In the year that followed the squashed Ladies-in-Waiting didn't die, but neither did it bounce back to its former health.

This & the White-Topped Pitcher Plant (S. leucophylla) were only beginning to recover late in spring 2003, & still hadn't regained their beauty at summer's end. When I set up the second carnivorous bog, I moved both the struggling 'Ladies-in-Waiting' & the White-topped to the newer miniature bog, & both bounced back to life for 2004 & 2005, seemingly not minding that they were unable to catch insects for themselves for a year.

Continue to:
Sarracenia leucophylla,
White-Topped Pitcher Plant


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