It’s been touch-and-go for several weeks, but we can be reasonably sure that winter is over in the Dallas area. We didn’t get the massive dump of snow at the beginning of March that’s been typical for the previous two years, although we did see that most out-of-place Texas weather phenomenon: hailstorms both in mid-March and mid-January. (For those unfamiliar with our wildly variable weather, generally hailstorms don’t come through until the beginning of May, and most hit in August and September.) The whole of the winter season was wet and cold, but not horribly so, which leads to our spectacular wildflower season. The carnivores react much the same way: the temperate carnivores such as flytraps and North American pitcher plants got a good rest, but things didn’t warm enough to where they depleted themselves. This means that the first blooms from Sarracenia flava are already brightening things up, and the rest of the pitcher plants are following. Flytraps, sundews, butterworts, bladderworts, triggerplants…everything’s going nuts, and the height of the display won’t be obvious for another two weeks.
In previous years, the only option to show this off was to bring out plants to shows and events, and try to explain that Sarracenia didn’t produce traps and blooms at the same time. Since most Sarracenia capture their natural pollinators as prey after spring is done, they produce blooms first, and only start stretching out fresh pitchers after the pitchers have had plenty of time to have bees, wasps, flies, and moths spread pollen to neighboring plants. Therefore, until the beginning of May, the blooms took all of the attention while the traps slowly sprouted, and everyone at shows wanted to see the traps.
Well, with the new space, it’s time to change that.
On April 16, along with the other festivities at the MidTown ARTwalk, the Texas Triffid Ranch officially opens the Manchester United Flower Show, an exhibition of carnivorous plant blooms. In addition to the tropical carnivores normally available for viewing and purchase, this show includes examples of temperate-climate carnivores as well. Ever wonder what a Venus flytrap bloom looks like? Surprised to discover that carnivores bloom like any other flowering plant? Make plans to come out to the space to see for yourself.