“Sarracenia ‘Alucard’ is a pitcher plant cultivar of mighty proportions and fantastic color!” you might exclaim, and… you’d be kind-of… wrong. S. ‘Alucard’ is, in fact, of mighty proportions and fantastic color. However, the name ‘Alucard’ is not a cultivar, but rather a grex name. Where it gets a little tricky, is when we start discussing S. ‘Prince of Darkness’ which is an as-of-yet officially registered cultivar within the grex of S. ‘Alucard.’ The rabbit hole is deep.
Quick refresher for you – a plant falls within a grex simply if it shares the same parents with the other plants within that grex and reasonably resembles the originally described plant. So, any tall, dark, and deadly pitcher plant made by pollinating a Sarracenia flava var. rubicorpora with S. ‘Royal Ruby’ (itself a S. moorei cultivar) is a S. ‘Alucard.’ They do not have to be plants that are genetically or phenotypically identical to the original to be considered part of the grex.
Cultivar status is more strict than that of a grex. A cultivar has to cary the exact same traits as the originally-described plant, normally only possible through vegetative propagation (via cuttings/divisions and not sexually through flowers). Dividing a Sarracenia rhizome results in a genetic clone of the parent plant which is the most accepted way to produce offspring capable of bearing the cultivar title. All plants carrying the S. ‘Prince of Darkness’ name are therefore identical because they can all be traced back to a single plant from which they were vegetatively propagated.
I think the general confusion on this particular grex vs. cultivar issue stems from the grex name, itself. ‘Alucard’ isn’t all Latin-ie like moorei or readii or mitchelliana, so folks assume it must be a cultivar name. 🤷♂️
Still with me? Ok, below is a description of the Sarracenia ‘Alucard’ grex as described by Travis H. Wyman on December 2nd, 2008, and published in volume 38 of the Carnivorous Plant Newsletter.
Sarracenia ‘Alucard’ is a complex hybrid of S. flava var. rubricorpora × S. ‘Royal Ruby’, and was produced by Phil Faulisi. This cross was made in May of 2000 and the subsequent seed sown January 2001. Numerous offspring of this cross display the same character and traits described herein.