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Purpurea confusion

Weird errors on the pitcher forum, so...

Okay, i have what i thought was a S. purpurea ssp venosa, but more than one person recently has questioned that classification of this plant. What do you think?

Looks to me like it's a S. purpurea ssp venosa "red form". I could be wrong, but it matches closely to a photo in "The Savage Garden." It sure is a beauty!
The key to telling the subspecies apart is the flower for me. Look for whitish-pink flowers if it is var. burkei pinkish flowers are var. venosa and deep maroon are subsp. purpurea
Thanks Nep G, alandallas.  I'll check the flowers next spring (hopefully! ).  Don't know how i'll tell the difference between 'whitish-pink' and 'pinkish', though.

Is the 'red' form of venosa truly of the venosa subspecies?  I heard rumours it was a cross or something.

The hairiness of the inner pitcher rules out ssp purpurea, but that's it, right?
Your plant looks to be Sarracenia purpurea ssp. venosa 'Red Ruffles'.
I was going to say that it looks like "red ruffles" too. You are soooo lucky I want that kind of pupurea, it's so beautiful. Where did you get your plant?
How is it you know what a 'Red Ruffles' looks like? I searched through Bobz's pics, and he doesn't have S. purp cultivars separated out.

Anyway, i'm happy to have such a cool plant. Much to my surprise, it won an award at the NECPS show! That's why i'd like to know as much as possible what species/form it is.

I got it at the first NECPS meeting in January from Thomas Hayes of Dangerous Plants. He said it's probably the Agristarts S. purp (and that's all the ID they give). Can you tell me more about 'Red Ruffles' and why you think that's what it is?
There is a photo of 'Red Ruffles' in The Savage Garden. I don't have the book in front of me right now so I cannot give a page number. It is in the section on Sarracenia Cultivars.
Ha!  I though it looked like something other that a typical ssp 'Venosa'.  Man, you are REALLY lucky to have such a gorgeous sar!  Congrats on winning with it. Richly deserved!

You guys should have seen this thing in the...er...flesh.  It's quite large, and is just so red.  Awsome speciman!  The pic here doesn't really do justice to the color.  I mean, the darn thing looks like blood!

D. Muscipula, have you updated the NECPS sight with all the winners, etc?  
  • #10
The 2003 NE CP Show Report

Of course, Schloaty!  Unfortunately, i don't have photos of all the winning plants (funny, that capensis took first in the sundew category though).  Good thing i had old "Red Ruffles" there, or Jeff would have swept both Ceph and Sarrs!

The color HAS improved in the plant - you can see it on the front row of the display stand, and it looks stunning.  I hadn't noticed how much more rich its coloration has become.  It happens to be the plant that modeled for the photo at the top of the NECPS web page.
  • #11
The plant is not 'Red Ruffles' as that is that cultivar is a CC clone and is not carried by AgriStarts. I know the origin of the AgriStarts plant and the plant in question is a typical S. purpurea ssp. venosa. The best way to tell ssp. purpurea from ssp. venosa is that ssp. venosa is somewhat pubescent while ssp. purpurea is totally smooth. There are also slight differences in the hood (ssp. purpurea has less wave to it) and the pitchers (ssp. purpurea is narrower, less recumbant and almost waxy in texture.)


According to everything I have read on the subject S. rosea (or var. burkeii if you prefer) has pink flowers with some clones occasionally having the pale cream flowers. The flowers themselves are on a shorter stalk and are larger across than ssp. venosa and ssp. purpurea. S. purpurea ssp. venosa still has maroon flowers like ssp. purpurea. There is a great article in the CPN about this
  • #12
Thanks Pyro, that's very a good lead. I guess i'll have to relegate my little purp back to generic venosa status.

As i understand it now, the only consistent difference between rosea and venosa is the flower color. True?
  • #13
Hey, you always have the option of making a cultivar yourself, if it warrants it.

  • #14

Flower colour, flower size, flowering period, pitcher morphology and a couple other traits I can't remember are what was mentioned in the CPN article. I'll look it up when I get home this evening
  • #15
Just for the record, i got an email from Peter saying "As for S. purpurea red ruffles, we have the only plants in existence and have been unable to get it tissue cultured so far, but hope it will succeed in the future. Seeya. Peter "

So, it's definitely NOT a 'Red Ruffles'. In fact, most of you have never seen a 'Red Ruffles' in person, neither.

I must say my experience with growing ssp venosa is limited to this plant. In fact, i don't think i've seen more than one or two other plants in person. But if those who are more familiar with venosa think it's warranted, i could propagate it and distribute it and describe it as a cultivar. However, to the best of my knowledge this is the Agristarts clone, which means there should be LOTS more plants just like mine.

Pyro, you say you know the origin of the Agristarts clone... was there multiple batches from seed, or are they all identical clones?
  • #16

I know the person who used to do the CPs for AgriStarts. When he left them they just continued with the stocks he left behind. I do not know for certain but I would be willing to bet that the venosa plants they have are originally from a batch of seed. If you like I can ask him though (it will be a while as I am not sure when I will next speak to him.)
  • #17
That would be great, thanks Pyro. What i'm trying to find out is if my plant is likely to be very common or just sort of common among the hundreds (thousands? millions?) of S. purps that agristarts has sold.