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Carnivorous Plants/Species identity

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Pitcher plant
Pitcher plant  

Pitcher plant
Pitcher plant  
I would like to know if the plant i have is s.flava or s.oreophila, and how can you tell the difference.

Answer
Hi Jeremy,

I would lean towards this being a flava, but I wouldn't rule out a flava/oreophila hybrid, and there are plenty of those floating around.  We have about 3 different flava/oreo hybrids here in the nursery, and each one looks quite different.

Here's a couple features that make the two species distinct.  The most striking are the phyllodia or winter leaves.  S. flava phyllodia are straight and somewhat spear shaped.  They're fairly long.  S. oreophila phyllodia are curved and sickle shaped like a crescent moon.  Hybrids are often somewhere in-between.  Flower scent.  S. oreophila flowers are sweet smelling like lilies, but flava is distinctly feline.  If you bring one inside, or have one in a car while in bloom, you'll be looking for your cat thinking they did something they shouldn't have.  Also, flava tends to bloom before pitchers open, and oreophila blooms at the same time as pitcher opening, a nice feature.  The opening on most flavas (exceptions exist) has the characteristic "S" spout, whereas oreophila tends to be more rounded.  Also, watch the color of the pitchers as they age some.  Flava's (hence the name Yellow Trumpet) tend to stay fairly yellow, where oreophila starts to darken green some in many varieties, especially on larger plants.

Hope this helps.

Good Growing!

Jeff Dallas
Sarracenia Northwest
http://www.cobraplant.com

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