Saturday, April 26, 2008

Venus Flytrap-Diagnosis in progress

A very cool sample came into the clinic this week-Venus flytraps!

Venus flytraps (Dionaea muscipula) are native to North & South Carolina (their natural habitat is only within a 100 mi radius of Wilmington, NC). They are, however, a very popular plant and considered easy to grow as long as you treat them right. 'Right' for a Venus flytrap is a humid swamp! Check out this site for detailed info on Venus flytraps (disclaimer: I can't vouch for complete accuracy on this site as I'm not a D. muscipula expert!).

The sample presented with blackened petioles and traps. Many of the older leaves were dying. The plants were being grown commercially and Phytophthora cinnamomi had caused problems in previous years. Leaves and rhizomes were plated for Pythium and Phytophthora.
Diagnosis is pending....


Eric Boa said...

We seek them here, we seek them there, we seek Phytophthora everywhere. (Apologies to Baroness D'Orczy and the Scarlet Pimpernel.) Nice one - who else has ever shown a diseased sample from venus flytrap. I like the way you work through the diagnosis: first a summary of symptoms and other available information; then laboratory analysis; and finally a weighing up of all available information to get to the most probably cause. We call it 'diagnostics' but in truth the stuff we do in the lab is only one source of information. It's rarely definitive. That's why agriculture needs fully rounded diagnosticians. (Oh, and I've corrected the link on my BSPP blog so that readers of this can also link through to Brooks'.)

vegged said...

If it were being raised by someone poorly educated in keeping Phytophthora I'd suspect them of feeding it meat, like raw hamburger or something. Those symptoms look similar to what happens when people give their flytraps raw meat rather than insects.