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"For the keen collector, there is no shortage of information here."--Roger Spencer, Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne, Australia
Native to the swamplands of the southeastern United States, the North American pitcher plants (Sarracenia) are among the world's most spectacular carnivorous plants, and also the easiest to grow in temperate climates. Although they have long been confused with unrelated tropical Nepenthes pitchers, gardeners are learning that many of these hardy plants will thrive in the open year-round, from parts of southern Canada to the cooler subtropics. Sarracenia grow best in the open garden and usually show their most vivid colors in full sun.
Gardening with Carnivores is the first complete guide to these ornamental plants, from natural history to hybridization, and from creating a bog garden to using the pitchers as long-lasting cut flowers. The book combines both practical and academic information to provide new insights into the biology and evolution of this dynamically changing group. Nearly 80 photographs capture the photogenic nature of this plant group, and all species and many hybrids are showcased in their richest colors.
In the wild, most stands of these species have disappeared, mostly through drainage of wetlands but also through poaching and cutting for the florist trade. To ease some of the many pressures on the wild populations, commercial growers--from collectors and florists to aquaculturists--are considering raising many species and hybrids for cut pitchers. The final chapter describes how to produce these exotic-looking yet readily raised pitchers for sale.
Nick Romanowski is a biologist and commercial grower of aquatic and water's-edge plants, maintaining one of the world's most diverse wetland collections at Dragonfly Aquatics, his nursery in Victoria, New South Wales.