The Carnivorous Plant FAQ Field Trip Report -

Idaho fen-hopping, 2006

The Trip:
Mid-summer travels took me to Idaho, which provided an opportunity for explorations of fens in the fabulous potato state. Conversations with Idaho scientists revealed a number of extremely promising locations where I might find sundews and bladderworts. In particular, I could seek Drosera anglica, Utricularia macrorhiza, U. minor, and U. intermedia. Of course, I would keep my eyes open for previously-unreported entities such as D. rotundifolia, D. × obovata, U. gibba, U. ochroleuca, or whatever might else come my way, although none were reported to be in my area of exploration..

This trip also fit nicely into my research on U. intermedia and U. ochroleuca in California. I have populations of plants that seem intermediate between these two species, and I have spent many hours trying to understand exactly what I am seeing in the field. Non-Californian plants, I hoped, might throw some perspective onto the situation.

I had two Idaho sites on my itinerary: Warm Lake and Tranquil Basin. It might shock some to see me actually identify these sites by name, but I cannot envision anyone travelling all the way to these sites to poach carnivorous plants. The aquatic Utricularia are too prolific to be harmed by minor poachings at these sites, and the Drosera site discussed is very remote--poachers (in general, a lazy and slobbish group) are not likely to expend energy to hike so far, especially when other sites are so much closer and easily desecrated.

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Revised: October 2007
©Barry Rice, 2005