This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V26", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
There was a time when naturalists believed that hybrids were sterile, and therefore hybridity had no influence in any question connected with the origin of species. When it was found that they were by no means always sterile, that sterility was rather exceptional than the rule, then the believer in the fixity of species comforted himself that seedlings from hybrids would at least return to the original parent forms. But this again has been disproved by experience, and it is found that a hybrid is just as able to perpetuate its form and characteristics by seed as though the new introduction came in the ordinary methods of variation.
Naturalists now do not look on hybrids and variations with contempt. They welcome them as assisting in giving the genealogies on which the knowledge of species rests.
We have here two hybrid pitcher plants from our Sarracenias introduced by Messrs. Veitch and Son of London, which, besides being of interest to American botanists, are beautiful ornaments of gardens, wherever swamps can be commanded, or in pots and saucers of water, in ordinary floricul-tural work.
A beautiful hybrid raised from S. psittacina and S. variolaris in which the leading characteristics of these two species are intimately blended. The pitchers have more of the decumbent habit of S. psittacina than of the erect growth of S. variolaris, and are about intermediate in length between those of the two parents. The broad lateral wing is also intermediate in form, while the beak-like lid of the pitcher is altogether that of S. psittacina. All the upper portion of the pitcher has a bright crimson reticulated nervation with the characteristic white spotting of S. variolaris; the basal portion is pale fulvous green. The elegant contour of the plant together with its peculiar coloration, in which it offers a remarkable contrast to every other hybrid Sarracenia in cultivation, renders it one of the most distinct, and, at the same time, one of the handsomest of the genus.
One of the most striking of the hybrids raised in Veitch's Nursery. It was obtained from S. Stevensii, crossed with S. purpurea. The pitchers are semi-decumbent, or about intermediate in position between the erect ones of S. Stevensii, and the prostrate ones of S. purpurea, giving the plant a very elegant contour. They are elongated, funnel-shaped, gradually increasing in diameter from the base to the aperture and furnished with a broad wing on the upper side. When mature they are blood-red veined with blackish crimson. The lamina or lid of the pitcher is erect and crisped; it is beautifully veined with blackish crimson on a reddish yellow ground, and on the side facing the aperture, thickly studded with short white hispid hairs.