The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

Explorations in the Borderlands, 2008

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That is the sound of rushing six years into the future. For in 2008 I returned to the same area of Virginia I reported upon earlier in this trip report and, with trophy wife Beth at my side, visited Phil Sheridan's Meadowview Biological Research Station.

We had originally planned to spend a long, full day with Phil, and Phil had arranged for us all to go to a few field sites with a number of conservation workers. Unfortunately, last minute schedule changes on my part blew these plans out of the water, and instead we had only a few hours available to hang out with Phil. Alas!

We arrived in mid-afternoon, and spent a pleasant hour or so looking around Meadowview. Phil has been using this facility as an ever-increasingly sophisticated laboratory base for his research and conservation projects. It was very impressive to see!

I often take a dim view of ex situ conservation efforts, since they are often executed poorly, and translate to little more than hobbyist collecting masquerading as conservation. But Phil is doing a good job. For example, the image above shows a long collection of pots of Sarracenia purpurea--the only plants left from a site that had been destroyed. If not for Phil's efforts, this population of plants would have been completely extirpated.

To the rear left of the Sarracenia purpurea is yet another swath of Sarracenia pots. There are a lot of plants visible, but this is merely a drop in the bucket compared to the entire Sarracenia holdings at Meadowview. It really is an impressive place! I regret that I was unable to meet his assistants. They sound like a great bunch of people.

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Revised: November 2008
©Barry Rice, 2005