Sunday, May 29, 2011

Native Plants Sale at Fletcher Wildlife Garden

The annual sale of Native Plants at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden in Ottawa is next Saturday. I've been brushing up my baby ferns and other plants to get them all spiffed for their turn in the shop window. I've got some nice things - Yellow Ladyslippers, Wild Ginger, Blue Iris, Foamflower, Wood Poppy.... Ebony Spleenwort, Clinton's Wood Fern and Polystichum tsus-simense (not a native but nice) and more. Here's a shot of the table, in the rain:

  Doesn't look like much, but there are almost 100 plants there, and mostly only two or three of each species. The reddish things in the middle are from Connaught Nursery. They are baby Pitcher Plants (Sarracenia purpurea). They must be 3 or 4 years old now but still babies, and super-cute! Pitcher Plants are carnivorous, well, maybe we should say insectivorous, and you can some fun growing one in a basin on your deck. All it needs is a few inches of sand, some peat moss on top, and enough water to stay damp at the bottom. The 'pitchers', which are modified leaves, fill with rainwater. Insects go in, perhaps to shelter from the sun, perhaps in response to some chemical lure, and can't climb out because of the downward-facing hairs on the pitcher's inside walls. The victim decomposes in the water, and the plant absorbs the nutrients.. A sneaky way to survive in wet, nutrient-poor bogs!

The wet bud is on one of the Yellow Ladyslippers. We've had a lot of rain lately, and today is no exception. Hard to get any weeding done in the garden, but good for the ferns!

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