The Carnivorous Plant Society

The Carnivorous Plant Society is a registered Charity, founded in 1978 with the aim of bringing together all those interested in carnivorous plants, both beginners and experts. Membership is open to all individuals and institutions, both amateur and professional.

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The Carnivorous Plant Society (CPS) was formed in 1978 by a small group of enthusiasts who wanted to share their passion for carnivorous plants with the wider public.  The group wanted to show how amazing the carnivorous plants' various adaptations are and to encourage their cultivation - they are beautiful and fascinating plants.  By 1981 the CPS had become a registered charity with the aims of promoting conservation efforts and increasing knowledge about the plants.  Members of the CPS enjoyed a newsletter, meetings and could see carnivorous plant displays at various flower shows.

As the Society has grown, it has continued to improve its offerings to members - in 2009 the existing journal and newsletter were replaced with a twice-yearly published colour journal the Planta Carnivora.  The journal is a mix of general interest articles written by members, to scientific news and reports written by academics.  Today the journal is edited by Martin Cheek, a Senior Research Leader at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.  This prominent botanist and author has published various papers, including important work on the Nepenthes family. 

In recent times, members are also to enjoy access to a world-class seed bank, an e-newsletter, an online forum 'CPUK', and a dedicated Society Facebook page.  The Society has also increased its attendance at of flower shows across the UK and has hosted major events such as the 11th International Carnivorous Plant Conference in 2106 held at RBG Kew.  The latter was enriched by numerous guest speakers from around the world, and also saw Sir David Attenborough honoured for his lifetime contribution to conservation and education.  

The CPS was the first carnivorous plant society to set up a general conservation fund which awards grants and donations to individuals and organisations involved in areas such as research, habitat protection and breeding programs.  It also contributes to ex situ conservation projects such as national collections and public gardens featuring carnivorous plants.

Perhaps surprisingly, the CPS has been actively working to reduce peat usage for cultivation of carnivorous plants - unlike almost ALL other cultivated plants, many species of carnivorous plants DO naturally grow on peat and are notoriously difficult to cultivate in any other media.  In order to help conserve the world's remaining peat bogs, the Society has been conducting a five-year research project looking into peat-free alternatives.  The project has yielded some positive results so far, particularly for Sarracenia the American pitcher plants.

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