I’ve written about my little garden of horror in the past and sharing my love of carnivorous plants. They’re so unique and beautiful that sometimes I just like to spend time looking at them, waiting patiently for the next victim to arrive.
My favorites are the pitcher plants. They come in such a wide variety of shapes and sizes and colors, and they can be found all around the world. In fact, some of the larger ones that live in rainforests have been known to trap and digest small mammals, like baby primates.
I know, it’s creepy, but it’s also like having a plant-based zoo on my patio. They seem so calm and serene, basking in the sun, gently swaying in the breeze, blending in with the rest of the plants I have scattered about. Luckily (depending on how you look at it), my pitchers are only big enough to ingest large insects.
My dogs are safe. For now.
Over the past week or so, my sarracenia leucophylla has taken off, going through a late-season growth spurt. Generally, they die back in the winter, go through a massive resurgence in the spring and early summer, then begin to slowly die off as the weather cools.
For some reason, this guy has decided to throw up a dozen or so new pitchers. Possibly, it’s trying to bulk up before the weather changes. None of my other pitchers are doing this, though, so I’m not quite sure why this one decided to change the routine.
But he is eating. I’ve peered down inside several of the larger pitchers and seen all sorts of insects, or remains of insects, stuffed in there. I could identify wasps, flies, a few small beetles (not Paul or Ringo, though), but the rest was just a dark blackish goop.
Despite the nastiness hiding inside the pitchers, the outside is beautiful. I love the contrast between the green stalks and the white trap openings covered in dark red veins. It’s wonderful to sit and watch them gently sway in the breeze.
They’ve also gotten tall. You can see here that they’re a good three feet or more (that’s an empty five-gallon pot next to it for comparison). It’s going to be a shame when they begin to die back and the pitchers start to brown and fall over. Reminds me of a Charlie Brown Christmas tree at that point, all sad and forlorn.
For now, however, I’ll enjoy this late-season burst of color and life. I hope the pitchers can stick around for another month or so. The real cold stuff doesn’t hit here until December or January, so I may have another month or two before I cut them back.
And for some reason, writing this post makes me feel a bit like a member of the Addams family. I wonder why…