The Real Paul Jones

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Carnivores – plants and lives

Paul, · Categories: Alumni and other friends, Amusements, General

Not the Ritchie Bell Pitcher
The Celebration of Pitcher Plants and Bog Gardening at the NC Botanical Gardens today was really a surprise celebration of Gardens founder Ritchie Bell. Bell had been invited to come and sign copies of the new edition of his book, Wildflowers of North Carolina and to heard a talk about pitcher plants by Larry Mellichamp of UNC-Charlotte. What Dr. Bell had actually been invited to was the announcement of the naming of a special hybrid pitcher plant in his honor. Over half a century ago, Bell was already recognized as one of the world’s greatest experts on Sarracenia (aka pitcher plants). He later prompted and created the Botanical Gardens even to the point of signing the bank note with his home as collateral to pay for the current Totten Center.
As Mellicamp announced the hybrid, he noted that the plant like Bell was hardy, robust, showy and tall. Bell, himself interjected that he noticed that it also has a very big mouth and that that mouth is wide open and gaping.
Mellicamp then treated us all to a slide show of pitcher pictures, puns, personal tales and interesting facts with occasional commentary from Bell.
Among them:

The plants in my own bog garden that have succeeded are Mellicamp-Gardner hybrids, Marti Gras, ladies in waiting and others.