Today I was very shocked to notice the headline "More than 1,000 Venus' flytraps stolen" at http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20130530/ARTICLES/130539991
So in Wilmington's Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Plant Garden some fools dug up over thousand flytraps which is 90% of the amount of these plants in that area. Venus flytrap aka Dionaea muscipula has been listed as a vulnerable species in IUCN's listing and every plant taken from the wild takes the whole species closer to extinction.
The city of Wilmington valued that every plant's value is $20 and the value of all of the plants stolen is therefore $20, 000 but in reality the value lost is even more. Every plant that were dug up were all unique by their genes having different genes and mutations and when this many plants are taken from a single spot the vigor of the whole population gets weaker for possibilities of plant being pollinated with it's sibling-plants make plants born from this pollination a lot weaker than plants from pollination of two non related plants. That is the reason why you don't pair up any pets with their siblings.
The above is the reason why tissue culture became popular way to produce plants. Tissue culture meaning taking a piece of plant and growing it in agar with hormones and sterile conditions to produce a large amount of plants for sale and therefore for cultivation and so collecting plants from the wild is almost useless. If someone in somewhere accidentally kills a single tissue cultured flytrap it really doesn't matter because there are millions of clones of the same plant but killing a plant from the wild is killing a unique plant with no copies of it and maybe with some great genes to help strengthen the population.
I remember reading that in some bog areas in US flytraps were painted with invisible paint, which comes visible under UV light to track the plants dug up from the nature and I hope they painted these ones too to catch the one(s) who did this soon.
If you have read this post this far then you may be thinking: What can I do? I'll tell you what you can do to prevent the extinction of Dionaea muscipula. If you live in the US make absolutely sure that the plants you are going to buy are produced with tissue culture, at least you can see does the plant have "just dug up from the wild" look on their media. Avoid people who sell plants from their cars and in marketplaces. By keeping these guys not having your money they will quit taking plants from the wild because they can't get any profit. Trust only trusted companies that sell these plants. I live in Finland so it is very hard for me to say which companies are trustworthy in US and which are not but at least Sarracenia Northwest at http://www.cobraplant.com/ grow all their temperate plants themselves and take no plants from the nature. If you want more specific info about the trustworthy vendors look at carnivorous plants forums such as Carnivorous Plants UK, Terra Forums, International Carnivorous Plants Society's forum.
Be responsible and buy only tissue cultured plants for nature is our greatest treasure and taking even a single plant from the wild is stealing a piece of this treasure from everybody.
About the Finn in the other end of the cable
- Eastern Finland, Finland
- Hello and thank you for visiting my blog! I'm DW and I'm 19 years old Finnish guy who has grown carnivorous plants since 2009 alongside with orchids, bromeliads, cacti and chilies. Besides growing plants I keep this blog, take photos, cook, read books and watch movies. At the moment I'm highschool graduate studying audiovisual communication in career college. For contacts my e-mail address is kihokki01[at]gmail[dot]com. You can also find here my grow list and want list