Cultivar Registrations in CPN

Carnivorous Plant Newsletter
Volume 30, Number 1, March 2001, pages 11 - 14


Pinguicula 'Titan'
Sarracenia leucophylla 'Schnell's Ghost'

Pinguicula 'Titan'

Received: 20 October 1999

This hybrid Pinguicula was created at by Leo C. Song, Jr. on 17 July 1987. The seed parent was a fragrant clone of P. agnata we grow at California State University at Fullerton. This is the only fragrant Pinguicula we have, and its taxonomic status is still uncertain. The pollen parent was an unidentified Pinguicula collected by David Verity near Guanajuato, Mexico in 1975. The pollen parent forms a hibernaculum below the surface of the ground, sometimes at a depth of over 1.5 cm (1/2 inch), and has flowers similar in form to P. gypsicola. It may be P. macrophylla.

At its largest, the leaves of Pinguicula ‘Titan’ can exceed the confines of a 15 cm (six inch) pot! The leaves resemble the pollen parent’s, in having a longer and more pronounced petiole than the leaves of the seed parent. However, the flower shape definitely favors the seed parent, but the blue edges have been replaced with an even magenta glow. A slight fragrance is also evident. It forms a large subterranean hibernaculum, but has a relatively short dormant period.

Pinguicula ‘Titan’ is very vigorous and easy to grow. We use a general mix for carnivorous plants (2 parts coco peat, 2 parts peat moss, 1 part fine orchid bark, 3 parts #20 quartz sand, 1-1.5 parts coarse perlite) to which we add a bit of dolomite and gypsum (1 part to 800 parts potting mix). A 5 cm (2 inch) layer of perlite is placed at the bottom of the pot for added drainage and enhanced aeration. We grow it under lights and natural lighting. It is being sold by a number of stores, such as Booman Floral of Vista California. It survives on store shelves longer than all other carnivorous plants, flowering there even after Venus Flytraps, sundews, and Sarracenia have died.

The cultivar name ‘Titan’ was chosen both to indicate the plants large size, but also to commemorate the nickname for California State University, Fullerton. I nominated this name some time in 1998, and it was sent (by Barry Rice) for registration on 20 October 1999. Pinguicula ‘Titan’ should be propagated by vegetative means only in order to preserve its distinctive characters.

LEO SONG, JR. • Fullerton, CA • USA

Figure 1: Pinguicula 'Titan' photographed by John Brittnacher.

Sarracenia leucophylla 'Schnell's Ghost'

Received: 4 February 2000

One of the peculiarities found in many of the red-flowered species of Sarracenia are the so-called aberrant colour forms. In addition to the range of pink and red colours found in many individuals of these species, plants are occasionally discovered which have pure yellow flowers. The genetics governing this effect are well documented (Sheridan & Scholl, 1996; Sheridan, 1997) and are known to affect red colour production in either the flower or the entire plant.

Of particular merit is the yellow-flowered clone of Sarracenia leucophylla. This plant has, in addition to the pure yellow flower, a complete absence of red colouring in the upper-pitcher tube and lid. The almost pure white lid is innervated with narrow green veins; the white colour includes the inner lid-surface and column, and extends to the upper section of the pitcher tube. The only red colour in the plant is found in the growing points of emerging pitchers and in aging pitchers as they start to senesce. Because of this, the plant cannot be described as an anthocyanin-free plant (or green mutant, as erroneously reported by D’Amato (1998, page 82).

The yellow-flowered Sarracenia leucophylla was originally collected by Donald Schnell during the summer of 1972. At the time of this collection the plant was not in flower; presumably the intense white colouration of the plant’s leaves attracted his attention. Schnell sent a piece of the plant to Steven Clemesha in Australia, who adjusted its growth habit to southern hemisphere seasons, and grew the plant to maturity. It was not until the plant flowered in September 1974 that Clemesha discovered that the plant also produced a pure yellow flower (Clemesha, 1999, personal communication).

Some years later Martin Cheek obtained plants from Clemesha, propagated them, and offered specimens for sale with the unregistered name of “Schnell’s Ghost”. At the time Martin produced a catalogue of plants which contained a full description of the cultivar (Cheek, 1990, page 2).

Although references to this plant’s “very pale ghost-like qualities” were made in private correspondence as early as 1972 (Clemesha, 1999, personal communication), the first printed reference to its “ghost-like” qualities was in Schnell (1989):

“The pitcher top is so pale and the lack of red venation gives the plant an almost ghost-like appearance and it stands out readily in a stand of typical plants, even when not in yellow flower. This plant bore a yellow flower the following spring in cultivation….”

In the early 1990s Alan Hindle, a grower and collector of Sarracenia forms in the UK, began selling a yellow-flowered S. leucophylla. Alan Hindle received his original stock from Bruce Bednar in the USA, so this plant subsequently became known among UK growers as the “Bednar clone”. Bednar reported that he obtained his plant from Clemesha in Australia, so the “Bednar clone” is the same plant as the “Schnell’s Ghost” plant (Bednar, 1999, personal communication). Other unestablished names that have been used to label this S. leucophylla plant include “Alba” and “Yellow Flower”.

Several other distinct clones of the species with yellow flowers have subsequently been found. For instance, there is at least one clone from the Citronelle region in southern Alabama. The plants are again characterised by having predominantly white colouration in the lid and upper pitcher, and a yellow flower. I am registering the cultivar name Sarracenia leucophylla ‘Schnell’s Ghost’, which should be applied to all clones of the species with yellow flowers and predominantly white coloured lids and upper pitchers. Since seed from self-pollinated individuals of this clone breed true (and presumably between different clones of this cultivar), Sarracenia leucophylla ‘Schnell’s Ghost’ may be propagated both asexually from cuttings and sexually from seed, as long as the cultivar characters are maintained.

As mentioned above, Sarracenia leucophylla ‘Schnell’s Ghost’ does have some red pigmentation in the growing points. In contrast, collections of Sarracenia leucophylla plants completely lacking anthocyanin have been reported (Sheridan & Scholl, 1996). The cultivar description of Sarracenia leucophylla ‘Schnell’s Ghost’ does not include these plants. I am happy to report that, despite fears that Sarracenia ‘Schnell’s Ghost’ had become extinct (Rice, 2000), it is quite alive both in England and in the USA.


Cheek, M. 1990, Carnivorous Plant Trading Catalogue.
D'Amato, P. 1998, The Savage Garden, Berkeley, Ten Speed Press.
Meyers-Rice, B. 2000, Noted horticulturist Peter D'Amato murders Don Schnell, Carniv. Pl. Newslett., 29, 3.
Sheridan, P. 1997, Genetics of Sarracenia leaf and flower color, Carniv. Pl. Newslett., 26, 51-64.
Sheridan, P., and Scholl, B. 1996, Noteworthy Sarracenia collections II, Carniv. Pl. Newslett., 25, 19-23.
Schnell, D.E. 1989, Sarracenia alata and S. leucophylla variations, Carniv. Pl. Newslett., 18, 79-83.

PHIL WILSON • Martock, Somerset • England

Figure 2 (left): Sarracenia leucophylla 'Schnell's Ghost' photo by Phil Wilson.
Figure 3 (right): Sarracenia leucophylla 'Schnell's Ghost' photo by John Constable.

©International Carnivorous Plant Society

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