Miniature Huntsmans Horn

This lovelv little plant, the miniature huntsman's horn, goes by the scientific name of Sarracenia rubra. Why rubra, I don't know. Seldom does it attain the reddish hues which you might think it displays. With sufficient strong sun or ample artificial light it will become more reddish across its top and partially down its pitcher. In most instances, it remains overall green with fine reddish veins. We have subjected these plants to 16 hours each day of Vita-Lites and Gro-Lux, but have not achieved the darker red color we expected it to become.

This plant too emerges from a rhizome, which tends to elongate. Propagation is easier bv breaking the rhizome in several spots and replanting the pieces. Pitchers in various stages of growth should mature 6 to 12 inches tall. It is identified by the slender pitchers, veined from halfway up with reddish veins more prominent and deeply colored as they reach the top. It doesn't really have a hood as such. The top of

A Typical grouping of miniature huntsman's horns.

The mouth of the miniature huntsman's horn may be smaller than other pitcher relatives, but it's large enough to catch its share of insects.

the plant is distinguished by a slightly flared flap. Without translucent spots to confuse the insects, and with an open mouth that seems hardly sufficient to deter its prey's escape, you might wonder how this species manages to survive.

Judging from numerous dissections of these plants it does quite well at insect-catching. Perhaps the attractant is more powerful. Perhaps it is easier for insects to enter, especially those that may be suspicious of the other types. More likely, the glands that secrete the aromas to attract insects are stronger further down the inside of the pitcher. Of course, it does get narrower closer to the ground. That too may make it more difficult for insects once halfway down to turn around and head for home. If you cut one open, you'll find a multitude of insects lodged at various levels.

This cross section of a miniature huntsman's horn leaf shows its insect-catching ability.

Each spring this delicate pitcher plant bears single red, velvety flowers on individual stalks. Some wave several inches higher than the pitchers grow.

Miniature huntsman's horns should be grown as hooded pitchers are. They prefer sufficient moisture in the planting medium, but slightly less than purpureas and parrots.

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The flowers of the miniature huntsman's horn appear on tall single stalks. The blooms are smaller and lighter in color than the deep red-purple pitcher flowers.

All of these pitcher plants enjoy such similar conditions that they are easily grown together in terrariums. Remember, they do need room to reach their full potential size. Select a large-enough display terrarium for a group planting, with sufficient headroom so the taller types can flower properly.

Each type has its own distinctive insect-alluring methods. Together they make a fine display.

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