They call themselves “Skippy”, a uniquely hilarious name for a group dedicated to a terrifying endeavor (at least This Animal Perspective) – Care and breeding of carnivorous plants.
Yes, we are talking about plants that prey on living creatures – mostly insects, but also small mammals and birds in some remote forests. (In Borneo, a pitcher plant – King Nepenthes – It has also been developed to help with small droplets.)
It’s a little scary, “he said.” But that’s why people love them so much. ” June 18-19 at Sherman Library and Garden, 2647 East Coast Highway, Corona del Mar, daily from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The show is free with $ 5 admission to the garden (members and children 3 and younger free admission).
Kim said, “Half the people tell you they like ‘carnivores’ – in the place where plants eat insects by turning tables in nature – but others say you like diversity.” “The general public thinks of the Venice Flytrap, but it’s only a small percentage of the carnivorous plants found on all continents except the Arctic.”
It’s a small thing to call carnivorous plants exotic – they grow in extraordinary shapes and colors, with the same thread they all have enough area to digest and digest their prey, whether it’s inside the slippery, tube-shaped body of a North American pitcher. Plane or flat sticky leaves of succulent butterfly.
Most plants get their nourishment from the sun and soil, but carnivorous plants have evolved to digest animals, usually the unfortunate insects are attracted to the plant’s sweet, sticky nectar and other deadly willows, such as the soft bottom-pointing hair that glides into the fragrant throat. A piece of pitcher plant cake (or fly) but impossible to climb.
David Fefferman, a skippy member of Mission Vizo and California’s largest collector and breeder of carnivorous plants, agrees that carnivores initially attract a lot of fans. “But no one really lives up to its death. The carnivorous plant is certainly the headline, but once you get involved, you live for the pleasure of growing attractive, beautiful plants.”
But it’s not just that these plants are unusual, Kim said. “They’re also functional. They don’t really eat meat. They eat flies, rocks, fruits, spiders and mosquitoes, so they’re really your friends. Orchid growers always put something around because with all the cold and moisture like their plants, they always They fight. “
Her pitcher plants are very effective at catching insects, Kim said, “they sometimes overflow at the top! And because North American pitcher plants go to sleep in the winter, they kind of fall off, exposing the exoskeletons of all the bugs, where they burst into the ground or fly in the air.” Plants cannot digest exoskeletons; they only digest the soft parts of insects. “
If you want a more graphic image of it, Kim said the club will showcase a variety of carnivorous plants so you can see their buggy digestive systems.
To be clear, Kim is not a teenager. He is married, about 39 years old, and works 60 to 80 hours a week as a construction project manager in Orange County. He has many hobbies, including other plants, and likes to join clubs that cater to his interests. “I enjoy being here. I don’t watch TV, I don’t read books, I don’t drink or gamble. My ‘I’ time is getting involved with these clubs. I do meeting minutes for fun, I like to listen to lectures, and There are five different copies … I think the world needs people like me.
His carnivorous plants also play a big role in his other passions. He has taken on parrots and turtles, a few of which attract flies to his yard – and those flies are efficiently consumed by his useful pitcher plants.
Although they look very exotic and natural, many carnivorous plants are easy to grow, Kim and Fefferman agreed. Some are happy in the window with bright indirect light. Others, like the North American pitcher plants, are steamy, southeastern boogie parts of the country, so they prefer to live outside in Southern California where they can drink all our summer.
But you can’t put them on the floor, Fefferman said. He plants in a pot filled with a mixture of 60/40 peat moss and perlite, as regular potting soil or even regular soil is very rich and burns the roots. And he puts a plate full of water, one or two inches, under all his vessels. Most plants drown if their roots stay in the water for too long, but pitcher plants grow in nutrient-rich swamps, Fefferman said, so they turned to insects for nutrition.
And because carnivorous plants grow in degraded soils, they are also very sensitive to minerals or fertilizers in their water, Fefferman said. Our drinking water is full of minerals, so it uses rainwater (when available) or a reverse osmosis system to demineralize its water (a type found in many under-sink filtration systems). Kim said that you can achieve the same thing by using distilled water available in pharmacies.
Skippy is a relatively new Orange County-based club – its first meeting was two weeks before COVID-19 closed in March 2020 – but club members used Zoom to hold monthly meetings during the epidemic and now have about 100 members. They are eagerly preparing for their second show and sale on Father’s Day weekend.
If this year’s polls are like the first year – which drew more than 1,300 people in two days – you’ll expect a lot of crowds to come soon, Kim said.
“Over the weekend, we (Sherman) garden staff said we had never seen so many young people in the garden,” said Kim.
“We had the Conservatives and the Goths, just the number of people coming to the garden, and it was very remarkable.”
Fefferman, a production manager for tech company Linktree, won some top awards last year, and he’s excited to show up again. He will also be one of the sellers of thousands of his plants. At some point, Fefferman said he would consider becoming a nursery, but for now, he only maintains his website, CarnivorousPlantResource.com, a marketplace for other carnivorous plant sellers, where prices range from $ 5 to $ 1,000 for seeds. Rare plants.
He expects beginners to find a good selection on the show, with prices hovering around $ 30. And he really wants to emphasize that these plants are fantastic despite their carnivorous ways.
“I don’t like these plants because they kill things,” Fefferman said. “Actually, I’m very much about them that things don’t kill. If I see honey in one, I’ll fish it, because the bees already have enough problems. They are beautiful. “
If bug-eating plants don’t ring your bell, there are plenty of other plant- and garden-related events and June activities. Email [email protected] at least three weeks before the events happen, and we can include them in the calendar.