Drosera rotundifolia (sundew, Zones 3–8) is a carnivorous plant that, like many insect eaters, lives in bogs. The constant flow of water through the bog leaches out almost all the nutrients, so this plant relies on luring insects to the sticky leaves, where they stick and are dissolved into fertilizer to allow this plant to thrive where few plants can.
When you think of northern Canada, you might not think of orchids, but it does have some beautiful native species, like this incredible Cypripedium calceolus (Zones 3–7). Like so many orchids, it thrives in very specific conditions in the wild and can be difficult to cultivate in gardens.
But clearly, where this orchid is native, it is very happy indeed. Look at those incredible clumps in full bloom! These are blooming at a park called Wagner Natural Area near Edmonton, Alberta.
In addition to enjoying unusual wildflowers, Brody cultivates odd plants from around the world. Growing inside, out of the Canadian cold, is this succulent plant Orbea variegata. Like many plants with a similar coloration, it smells like rotting meat to attract flies to pollinate it. Brody says on this one the smell is pretty faint, and a small price to pay for this beautiful bloom.
On the cactus Turbinicarpus schmiedickeanus, I love the contrast between the harsh spines and the delicate-looking flowers.
More baby plants! These are seedlings of another cactus, Dolichothele uberiformis. Growing cacti from seed can be tricky, as they can be a little delicate when this tiny, and it can take them quite a while to get up to a more robust size. But have you ever seen cuter tiny plants?
Conophytum calculus is a succulent species native to South Africa with odd little lips. Just add some googly eyes, and it would be a face. It will produce a yellow flower that emerges from those unimpressed lips.
Not all cacti have to be grown inside in Canada. This is Opuntia polychantha (prickly pear cactus, Zones 3–8), which is one of the four species of cactus native in Canada. This one was seen growing in a national park.
If you want to see more of Brody’s plant adventures, check out his instagram: @brody.that.plant.loving.boy
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