Malcolm SunderlandVisitors to Cliffe Castle this summer will have the chance to see a striking selection of exotic carnivorous plants fresh from this year’s Chelsea Flower Show.
The 25 brightly coloured sarracenia, commonly known as pitcher plants, took award-winning local gardener, Malcolm Sunderland over twenty years to develop and have featured in several prestigious flower shows.
The display features a depiction of the plant’s native environment – wetland ‘Pine Barons’ and green sphagnum moss which produce the perfect conditions for their prey - bluebottles, greenbottles and houseflies.
The pitcher plants, which are native to swamp areas in the south eastern areas of America in particular the Okefenokee swamp in Georgia and Florida, lure insects into their elongated, tube-shaped leaves with nectar then devour them with digestive enzymes.
Retired Grange Middle School teacher, Malcolm Sunderland has judged the Yorkshire in Bloom competition for 15 years and was awarded the Royal Horticultural Society Garden of Merit for introducing new breeds of sarracenia.
The sarracenia family is quite small consisting of only eight family members, however, the plants are very adaptable to cross-fertilisation which makes them ideal for forming new hybrids. 
The plants displayed are mainly two to three way crosses. It takes twenty years before a new plant can be registered as a new variety, but if the breeder is successful, they are given the right to name the plant. Mr Sunderland has named one of the plants on display, after his wife, Ann Caroline.
The sarracenia are on display at Cliffe Castle until 26 June. Admission is free.
Coun Sarah Ferriby, Environment, Sport and Culture Portfolio Holder, said: “This is a rare opportunity to see world class Chelsea Flower Show specimens so we are very proud to display such beautiful and fascinating plants at Cliffe Castle.”

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