Operated by Peter D’Amato and Damon Collingsworth, California Carnivores is a nursery for carnivorous plants based in Sebastopol, California, north of San Francisco. California Carnivores is the largest carnivorous plant nursery in the world that is open to the public. Founded in 1989, California Carnivores has been promoting conservation through cultivation for almost 30 years. They grow and sell the widest variety of carnivorous plants in the United States. Venus flytraps, American pitcher plants, sundews, butterworts, bladderworts, tropical pitcher plants and others – all commercially cultivated for either the curious beginner or the discriminating collector who wants the highest quality plants. California Carnivores sells plants both on-site at their nursery and online.
Growing carnivorous plants can require specific lighting and environmental requirements. Some prefer cooler environments than others, some prefer more light. Regardless of individual plant species’ requirements, maintaining a stable growing environment and providing appropriate lighting for healthy growth are the keys to success. Traditional grow-lights put out a great deal of heat, so lighting had to be kept at a distance from the plants themselves. In addition, plants requiring cool environments were difficult to cultivate because climate-control systems had to fight the heat output of the lights. At the minimum, this creates a management and operational cost challenge for even accomplished cultivators.
In their ongoing quest to cultivate rare carnivorous plants, California Carnivores became part of Light Polymers Alpha Test program for the new GrowBlade horticultural LED lighting system in a project to hybridize Sun Pitchers (Heliamphora). Heliamphora tend to crave strong light but are very sensitive to excessive heat. This unique set of needs has made it difficult to cultivate them effectively outside of their natural habitat.
Light Polymers’ GrowBlades provide a simple, low-cost solution for high-quality LED horticultural lighting by leveraging Crystallin® film to deliver lights with high output and thermal efficiency, emitting more usable light per watt while creating less waste heat. This allows the GrowBlade to operate at a cooler temperature than competing lights, while offering a more even and well-diffused light source for sensitive plants. A lower temperature of operation and better efficiency also mean lower operating costs and reduced strain on environmental control systems. The thin ½” form factor of the GrowBlade Edge model helps work in space-constrained growing environments. These advantages are coupled with competitive pricing that makes the GrowBlade a natural choice for horticultural operations of any size.
Light Polymers is a nanochemistry company with deep domain knowledge of lyotropic materials, which have many applications including LCD and OLED flat panel displays, LED lighting, advanced building materials and biomedical assays. GrowBlade lighting will be available to select customers for Beta testing in Q4 2017 and available generally in Q1 2018.