“Plants With Bite” Display and Fair, Mount Tomah

An immature pitcher (Nepenthes thorelii X truncata, grown by J Biddlecombe)

This is the second year I’ve been up to the Australasian Carnivorous Plant Society‘s “Plants With Bite” Display and Fair at Mount Tomah Botanic Garden in the Blue Mountains. The event took place over two weekends (27 February to 07 March).

The first Sunday was a warm and cloudy day; too warm and humid, in my opinion, to even walk down to the Society-sponsored bog garden to see how the plants were doing (very well, apparently, apart from the fact that the Cephalotus donated last year had gone missing). I was recognized from last year’s visit and made to feel welcome, although I had to acknowledge — sheepishly — that in all my years of membership I’d never once attended a society meeting. I spent a lot of time admiring the plants (the display was as good, if not better, than last year’s) and chatting with other members, particularly Jessica and Lynn.

On the following Sunday there was a pall of dark cloud over the Blue Mountains as I approached via the M4, which translated at altitude to thick fog with many extra-dense patches where the visibility went down to about 50 metres. By the final approach to the Botanic Gardens it had become heavy rain, on a narrow winding road peppered with DO NOT STOP signs (complete with falling rock graphics), and some moron was tailgating me at an unsafe 80 km/h. That was … exciting.

In any event, I got there safely but didn’t get to see the bog garden. I wasn’t going to brave the wet with the camera, oh no.

We expected a really poor crowd, but as it turned out there was a wedding celebration at the Botanic Garden, and the guests were intrigued by the plants. I helped out a bit by sharing some of my (rusty) CP knowledge and selling a few plants. In the quiet periods I took more photos and indulged in more shop talk.

By the time the weather cleared enough that I felt it was safe to leave, it was past 1630, and as I drove through Bilpin I noted with some dismay that the orchards and shops were already closed for the day. No tree-ripened apples for me, but there’s always another day …

Nepenthes hybrid

Nepenthes hybrid

Nepenthes hybrid

Nepenthes alata, grown by G. Bourke

Nepenthes hybrid

Nepenthes thorelii X truncata, grown by J. Biddlecombe

The pitchers of Nepenthes thorelii X truncata can grow large enough to accommodate a small kitten (Jessica has pictures to prove it).

Nepenthes hybrid

Pinguicula hybrid

Sarracenia hybrid

Sarracenia hybrid, probably with a touch of minor and leucophylla

The central display

The central display

A display table

Camera: Pentax K100D Super
Lens 1: Pentax DA 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED
Lens 2: Pentax DA 16-45mm F4.0 ED
Ambient light only.
Hand-held only.
Cropping and resizing in Irfanview.


11 Responses to “Plants With Bite” Display and Fair, Mount Tomah

  1. Moranna says:

    Fantastic pictures of beautiful but awesome plants!!

  2. I rarely get to see Tropicals here in West Texas especially this time of year 🙂 Thanks. Nice photography.

  3. Tara Aarness says:

    Your journey sounds as if there’s more to the story (‘some moron was tailgating me at an unsafe 80 km/h. That was … exciting.’), but glad arrived safely, regardless.

    The photos are stunning and has increased my desire to learn more of these extraordinary plants I see bi-yearly at our local arboretum plant sale. Wonderful post! 🙂

  4. Lakia says:

    Nice pics. That plant looks really scary tho lol

  5. Tara Aarness:

    There’s really not much more than that, really. I like going fast myself, and my speed was pretty close to the safe/unsafe line for the weather conditions.

    The idiot simply appeared behind me and wanted to go faster, so he hung maybe 3m off my rear bumper for five minutes. I continued doing what I was doing (pulling over was not an option because there was no road shoulder) and he eventually overtook me on the approach to a hairpin bend.

  6. Wonderful pictures! We sell those in our little shop in Brooklyn, NY and I can’t wait to get our flytraps next month! They are just waking up now!

    Kimberly Sevilla

    Rose Red & Lavender

    Flowers, Plants and Beautiful Things.

  7. mudepoz says:

    Awesome shots! I have a fair amount of carnivorous plants, mainly nepenthes, but sarracenia , some sundews and a lot of butterworts. Hmm, and a flytrap.

    Someone onstaff is studying phosphorous uptake in native pitcher plants. Cool stuff. Nice to see them healthy. I tend to make them look bad… ;(

  8. chutbodin says:

    Wow! I like it,the nice plants.:)

  9. Kim Harrison says:

    Holy cow! Those are beautiful!

  10. That is nice….

    How I wish we have such Fair at Malaysia…

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