The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

The Whisperers in the Boglands

Return to the Trip Overview

Snuggling plants
Don't these pitchers look like they are cuddling together, wrapped in Sphagnum? So cozy!

It is interesting that this plant has some well developed pubescence on the outer surface of the hood. You can even see it on this photograph.

John and I also found Drosera rotundifolia and Drosera intermedia on the mat. Oddly, some of the Drosera intermedia plants were growing at the edge of the mat, submerged under several inches of tannin-rich water! I didn't think that this degree of submersion could be attributed to the recent heavy rains, but I suppose the water level during the earlier part of the summer might have been substantially lower. It is cool to think about how the entire floating Sphagnum mat must rise and drop so much during the seasonal water level fluctuations.

The deep water also had some very large, happy Utricularia macrorhiza.

One area in the pond was covered by a relatively thin sheet of floating Sphagnum and muck that was in turn submerged under a few cm of water. This reminded me of habitats that are ideal for dimorphic Utricularia like U. minor, U. ochroleuca, and U. intermedia. So I started straining the muck through my fingers, and almost immediately found Utricularia! And what kind was it? Why, more Utricularia geminiscapa!

HAH! I found it this time! Not Beth, not John--this time IT WAS ME! I FOUND IT!

The Utricularia geminascapa at this site was also dimorphic. So I think that dimorphism might be a very useful character to be used in separating U. geminiscapa from U. macrorhiza. However, the character may require well-growing plants to be expressed, and of course inadequately small herbarium collections might not show dimorphism. But in comparison, I think that the "long terminal leaflet" character is unreliable.

After exploring one side of the pond, John and I decided to travel to the other side because we could see more pitcher plants over there. Much shrub-fighting ensued as we fought our way through the dense understory, but since I was pretty evenly soaked up to my belt line I didn't mind plunging into the water a few times. John, perhaps more sensibly, stayed on slightly higher ground. Eventually we made it to the plants on the other side.

back      forward

Revised: October 2007
©Barry Rice, 2005