Invading lizards from Cuba

Cuban brown anole have been moving in and pushing the native green anoles out. If you see any take a few minutes to fill out the survey for the SW Center for Herpetological Research (link below)

Houston Arboretum, A new lizard in town

Southwestern Center for Herpetological Research, Survey on sitings of Cuban Brown Anole

The Green Anole, Your Resident Backyard Lizard, Is Being Pushed Out By Its Uglier Cousin

Can plants think?

“Plant-thinking” refers, in the same breath, to (1) the non-cognitive,
non-ideational, and non-imagistic mode of thinking proper to plants (hence,
what I call “thinking without the head”); (2) our thinking about plants; (3)
how human thinking is, to some extent, de-humanized and rendered plantlike,
altered by its encounter with the vegetal world; and finally, (4) the
ongoing symbiotic relation between this transfigured thinking and the
existence of plants. A sound philosophy of vegetal life must rely on the
combination of these four senses of “plant-thinking,” so as not to dominate
(and in dominating, distort) the target of its investigations. In this article, I
will touch upon all four senses of plant-thinking, putting particular accent
on its first and last modalities. Upon investigating the non-conscious
intentionality of plants and how it resonates with the human thinking of
non-identity, I will draft the image of Western philosophy as a sublimated
and idealized plant-thinking. more …

Are Plants Conscious?
Plant-Thinking: A Philosophy of Vegetal Life

Nepenthes Coccinea

Nepenthes rafflesiana x ampullaria x mirabilis

This is one of those plants that was every where and now is very difficult to track down. It was loved by the Victorians. Scientific American had a story on it in 1882. The only seller I’ve found is Lee’s Botanical Gardens, if anyone knows of any other sources please let me know. I’d hate for this plant to vanish.

I find it likes a mostly shady window with about an hour or two of direct sun. Like all my neps this one is growing in an orchid basket filled with sphagnum and sitting in a dish with an 1″ or so of distilled water.

It is an American hybrid which made its way across to England and the rest of Europe. I’m told it started the Nepenthes craze that followed.

I had a bit of a time getting it settled in the house, it likes humidity but is far too large to fit in a terrarium. Most so since its a climber.

I’ve also been told there is more than one version of Nep. Coccinea around. I was unable to adapt the other version to windowsill life.

Nepenthes Kat Lester

I find this is much like a Mirabilis, that’s almost certainly in its parentage. Keep it warm, not too much light, and slowly adapt it to the windowsill. They seem to need high humidity while they are young. Pitchers vary from green to red on the same plant. It sends up lots of basil shoots and prefers hanging to climbing. There are often a dozen pitchers on the plant.

Lee’s Botanicals cultivated this plant, I think they may be the only source. I’ve not been able to find any other mention of it.

Nepenthes Truncata

Test tube babies

Nepenthes Truncata at

Nepenthes truncata gets its name from the square ending of the leaf before the pitcher. It is native to all of the Philippines where it grows in the hilly areas close to sea level. Pitchers can reach 16″ long. A botanical garden in France recorded it eating a mouse. I’m told it loves to eat wasps.

I had been growing it under a fluorescent light and on a windowsill. It’s now in a very bright south western window and it appears to love the sun much more than my other Nepenthes. A grower in Italy reports it can handle highland temps, I’m not sure I’d risk trying it.

The first reference to it I could find was in the 1911 Pennsylvania Botanical Society meeting notes.

I found mine from a seller of test tube plants on eBay.