Pitcher plants

Pitcher plants

94 Pages
Pitcher plants are carnivorous plants whose prey-trapping mechanism features a deep cavity filled with liquid known as a pitfall trap. It has been widely assumed that the various sorts of pitfall trap evolved from rolled leaves, with selection pressure favouring more deeply cupped leaves over evolutionary time. However, some pitcher plant genera (such as Nepenthes) are placed within clades consisting mostly of flypaper traps: this indicates that this view may be too simplistic, and some pitchers may have evolved from the common ancestors of today’s flypaper traps by loss of mucilage.

Whatever their evolutionary origins, foraging, flying or crawling insects such as flies are attracted to the cavity formed by the cupped leaf, often by visual lures such as anthocyanin pigments, and nectar bribes. The sides of the pitcher are slippery and may be grooved in such a way so as to ensure that the insects cannot climb out. The small bodies of liquid contained within the pitcher traps are called phytotelmata. They drown the insect, and the body of it is gradually dissolved. This may occur by bacterial action (the bacteria being washed into the pitcher by rainfall) or by enzymes secreted by the plant itself. Furthermore, some pitcher plants contain mutualistic insect larvae, which feed on trapped prey, and whose excreta the plant absorbs.[1] Whatever the mechanism of digestion, the prey items are converted into a solution of amino acids, peptides, phosphates, ammonium and urea, from which the plant obtains its mineral nutrition (particularly nitrogen and phosphorus). Like all carnivorous plants, they grow in locations where the soil is too poor in minerals and/or too acidic for most plants to survive.

Types of pitcher plants

The families Nepenthaceae and Sarraceniaceae are the best-known and largest groups of pitcher plants.

The Nepenthaceae contains a single genus, Nepenthes, containing about 120 species and numerous hybrids and cultivars. In these Old World pitcher plants, the pitchers are borne at the end of tendrils that extend from the midrib of an otherwise unexceptional leaf. The plants themselves are often climbers, accessing the canopy of their habitats using the aforementioned tendrils, although others are found on the ground in forest clearings, or as epiphytes on trees.

In contrast, the New World pitcher plants (Sarraceniaceae), which comprise three genera, are ground-dwelling herbs whose pitchers arise from a horizontal rhizome. In this family, the entire leaf forms the pitcher, whereas in the Nepenthaceae, the pitcher arises from the terminal portion of the leaf. The species of Heliamphora, which are popularly known as marsh pitchers (or erroneously as sun pitchers), have a simple rolled-leaf pitcher, at the tip of which is a spoon-like structure that secretes nectar. They are restricted to areas of high rainfall in South America. The North American genus Sarracenia are the trumpet pitchers, which have a more complex trap than Heliamphora, with an operculum, which prevents excess accumulation of rainwater in most of the species. The single species in the Californian genus Darlingtonia is popularly known as the cobra plant, due to its possession of an inflated “lid” with elegant false-exits, and a forked “tongue”, which serves to ferry ants and other prey to the entrance of the pitcher. The species in the genus Sarracenia readily hybridise, making their classification a complex matter.

There are two other families of pitcher plants, but both contain just one or two carnivorous species.

The Cephalotaceae is a monotypic family with but one genus and species, Cephalotus follicularis. This species has a small (2–5 cm) pitcher similar in form to those of Nepenthes. It occurs in only one location in southwestern Australia.

A few species of bromeliads (Bromeliaceae), such as Brocchinia reducta and Catopsis berteroniana, are known or suspected to be carnivorous. Bromeliads are monocots, and given that they all naturally collect water where their leaves meet each other, and that many collect detritus, it is not surprising that a few should have been naturally selected to develop the habit into carnivory by the addition of wax and downward-pointing hairs.

The Purple pitcher plant, Sarracenia purpurea, is the floral emblem of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.

Nepenthes truncata

Nepenthes truncata


Nepenthes truncata

Nepenthes truncata

Highland Lowland


Nepenthes truncata , from Latin: truncatus = terminating abruptly) is a carnivorous pitcher plant species endemic to the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. The species grows at an elevation of 0–1500 m above sea level. Nepenthes truncata is characterised by its heart-shaped (truncate) leaves and very large pitchers, which can reach up to 40 cm in height.

On September 29, 2006, at the Botanical Gardens in Lyon, France, a Nepenthes truncata was photographed containing the decomposing corpse of a mouse. This incident is the first record of a mammal being successfully trapped in the pitchers of N. truncata. Both N. rajah[2] and N. rafflesiana[3] are known to occasionally catch small mammals in the wild.

Nepenthes truncata has both lowland and highland forms, being found in the Philippines. It is a very easy plant to grow under many conditions.

Cultivating Ease – Very Easy

Type – N. truncata has both lowland and highland forms.

Temperature – Keeping the lowland forms warm at all times is advisable, although it can tolerate temperatures as low as 35 degrees (non-frost) at night for weeks at a time. Even though it can tolerate cold temperatures, it should be kept between 75 and 95 degrees farenheit for optimum growth. It grows well as an intermediate. The highland form grows well as a highland or intermediate.

Humidity – This plant, due to its very thick leaves and pitchers, can tolerate lower humidity levels than most Nepenthes. Keeping it above 75% is usually the best way to grow it.

Light – Shaded conditions to full direct (diffused) sunlight. It grows very well in a large chamber under lights. (I have found reports that the plant needs low light levels to be false. Most of my truncatas grow in an outdoor greenhouse under two layers of poly film in direct sun.)

Moisture – Keep the plant moist. Do not keep the roots very wet for long periods of time. Growing the plant in a deep pot of sphagnum moss that is kept moist work very well.

Soil – Long Fiber Sphagnum

Size – The plant can grow more than 4 feet in diameter, and that is with truncated leaves. Actually, the leaves on larger plants are no longer truncated, but grow into large rectangles. Otherwise a compact grower, it will place large pitchers at the end of its heart shaped leaves. It is an ideal candidate for larger grow chambers (4’x4’x8′ when small, 6′ x 4′ x 8′ when larger) under lights, or in a stovehouse.

Details: Truncata will eventually produce monster pitchers on leaves that are short (relatively speaking), thick, and heart shaped. For the most part, it is a compact grower, and can survive years in a large chamber. Larger plants produce large rectangled shaped leaves, Care must be taken if it flowers in a chamber with limited clearance, as the thick stem of the inflorescence can reach high enough to puncture through poly plastic. The plant will morph its pitchers from lower to uppers by differing forms of intermediate pitchers. The lower pitchers are cylindrical with a small cap for a lid. The plant will produce intermediate pitchers which have characteristics of lowers and uppers. Finally the upper pitchers are produced, which have a triangular lid, wide flaring persistome, producing long tubby pitchers that can be enormous. The pitchers, as large as they are, look even more enormous next to the leaves which are smaller (relatively speaking) than the pitchers. Dont get me wrong, the leaves on a mature plant can be quite large. But the pitchers extreme size is even further augmented by the leaves which are usually shorter in length. The leaf petioles can be quite long and extended, then forming the thick leaf which is heart shaped in smaller plants and rectangular in larger ones.

Propagation – I have many truncata plants grown from seed. They mature relatively quickly, and 1 foot diameter plants can be realized in a few years. Tissue culture plants that are less than 3″ in diameter can be slow to grow. Once a truncata reaches about 4″ in diameter, it gets much larger with every progressive leaf that it puts out.

Forms – There are several forms of truncata. The lowland forms usually have greenish pitchers with either red or striped peristomes. The highland forms can have pitchers that are greenish, to orange/rust, red, purple, and even black.

Nepenthes suratensis

Nepenthes suratensis


Nepenthes suratensis

Nepenthes suratensis is a tropical pitcher plant endemic to Surat Thani Province, Thailand, where it grows at sea level in coastal savannah and grassland. It is thought to be most closely related to N. andamana.

The specific epithet suratensis is derived from the name of Surat Thani Province and the Latin ending -ensis, meaning “from”.
Botanical history

The first known collection of N. suratensis was made by Arthur Francis George Kerr in 1927. This specimen, Kerr 13136, was collected at sea level from Kanchanadit, Surat Thani Province, Thailand. It is deposited at the Bangkok Herbarium (BK).
The holotype and earliest known specimen of N. suratensis (Kerr 13136)

Nepenthes suratensis was formally described by Marcello Catalano in his 2010 book, Nepenthes della Thailandia. The description was reviewed by Alastair Robinson, while Andreas Fleischmann provided the Latin translation.[1] Kerr 13136 was designated as the holotype.

Nepenthes suratensis is a climbing plant growing to a height of approximately 3 m. The stem is terete and up to 5 mm in diameter. Internodes are up to 6.5 cm long. The stem ranges in colour from green to red.

Leaves are sessile and coriaceous in texture. The lamina (leaf blade) is linear to lanceolate, measures up to 35 cm in length by 4 cm in width, and is around 0.5 mm thick. Its apex is acute to narrowly acuminate and it is attenuate at the base, clasping the stem for around three-quarters of its circumference. Three longitudinal veins are present on either side of the midrib, restricted to the distal quarter of the lamina. Pinnate veins are also visible, and arise obliquely from the midrib. Tendrils are up to 24 cm long and 2 mm in diameter. They are coiled in upper pitchers. The laminae are light green, whereas the midrib and tendrils vary from green to red.
Rosette and lower pitchers are either wholly ovate or ovate in the basal half of the pitcher cup and narrower above. They measure up to 15 cm in height by 5 cm in width. The hip is usually located near the middle of the pitcher, but may be completely absent in entirely ovate traps. A pair of wings (≤12 mm wide) runs down the ventral surface of the pitcher cup, bearing narrow fringe elements. The pitcher mouth is smoothly triangular and has an oblique insertion. The peristome is flattened and up to 10 mm wide, with teeth up to 1 mm long. The extent of the glandular zone of the inner surface is variable, ranging from one-third to two-thirds of the pitcher’s height. The pitcher lid or operculum is broadly to narrowly ovate. It has a slightly cordate base and is often irregularly wavy at the margins. It measures up to 4.5 cm in length by 3.5 cm in width, being as large as or smaller than the pitcher orifice. The lower surface of the lid does not have any appendages, but bears numerous crater-like glands (≤1 mm in diameter), the largest of which are located around the midline. A small depression is also present on the lower surface of the lid, near the apex. An unbranched spur (≤5 mm long) is inserted near the base of the lid. On their outer surface, terrestrial pitchers are typically green to orange with red stripes, or red throughout. Red blotches are present in the waxy zone of the inner surface. The colour of the peristome is highly variable and may be green to orange or red. The lid ranges in colour from orange to red, and bears fine red streaks.
The tubulose to narrowly infundibular upper pitchers are similar in size to their terrestrial counterparts, measuring up to 18 cm in height by 3 cm in width. The wings, if present, are up to 3 mm wide, otherwise they are reduced to a pair of ridges. The pitcher mouth is smoothly triangular and has an oblique insertion. The peristome and lid, as well as other parts of the pitcher, are similar to those found in terrestrial traps. Aerial pitchers have a lighter pigmentation than their lower counterparts, being green to yellow on the outer surface. As in lower pitchers, red blotches are present on the waxy inner surface. Both the peristome and lid range in colour from green to yellow.[1]

Nepenthes suratensis has a racemose inflorescence. In male plants, it reaches 70 cm in length, of which the peduncle constitutes about 50 cm and the rachis 20 cm. Around 180 flowers are produced. These are borne solitarily on pedicels measuring 3–8 mm in length. The pedicels often bear a bract in their basal half. This structure is up to 1.5 mm long and is bent inwards relative to the pedicels. The androphore is up to 3 mm long. Tepals are elliptic and up to 5 mm long by 3 mm wide. They are predominantly green with red margins. The female inflorescence is similar in structure to the male one, but differs in having a shorter rachis (10–15 cm long) and longer pedicels of 4–10 mm, which either have greatly reduced bracts or lack them altogether. It also differs in that the tepals are smaller (up to 4 mm by 2 mm) and always green.

An indumentum of orange or brown hairs (0.1–0.3 mm long) is present on the inflorescence, leaves, and stem. These hairs are caducous and consequently the lower parts of the plant are glabrous.

Like all pyrophytic Nepenthes from Indochina, N. suratensis has a well-developed rootstock.

Nepenthes suratensis is endemic to the coastal regions of Surat Thani Province, Thailand. It grows terrestrially in sandy soil and is only found at sea level. Its typical habitat is open savannah and grassland.

Nepenthes suratensis has no known natural hybrids.

Nepenthes reinwardtiana

Nepenthes reinwardtiana

Reinwardt’s Pitcher-Plant

Reinwardt's Pitcher-Plant, Nepenthes reinwardtiana
Nepenthes reinwardtiana

Nepenthes reinwardtiana is a widespread species, and is found in a variety of habitats, including roadside embankments, lowland rainforest, exposed rock faces and cleared areas. Highland varieties may be located in mossy forest growing as epiphytes. Pitcher colouration varies from green to dark red. This species is distinguished by the usual presence of 2 waxy eyespots on the inside of the pitcher. The exact function of these spots is unknown

Borneo, Sumatra

ELEVATION: 0-2100 meters

N. reinwardtiana is an easy species to grow under typical lowland conditions (for the lowland varieties). High temperatures and humidity will produce large pitchers, and the plant climbs well. It also readily strikes from cuttings. Highland varieties should be grown in a mix high in sphagnum, with lower temperatures, as for typical highland plants.

Nepenthes rafflesiana

Nepenthes rafflesiana

Raffles’ Pitcher-Plant


Raffles' Pitcher-Plant, Nepenthes rafflesiana

Nepenthes rafflesiana, after Stamford Raffles), or Raffles’ Pitcher-Plant, is a species of pitcher plant. It has a very wide distribution covering Borneo, Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia, and Singapore. Nepenthes rafflesiana is extremely variable (second only to N. mirabilis) with numerous forms and varieties described. In Borneo alone, there are at least four distinct varieties. The giant form of this species produces enormous pitchers rivaling those of N. rajah in size.
Typical habitat of N. rafflesiana.

Nepenthes rafflesiana is a very widespread lowland species. It is common in Borneo and parts of the Riau Archipelago, but has a restricted distribution in both Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra. It is only widespread in the southeastern region of the Malay Peninsula, particularly in the state of Johor, where it is relatively abundant. Nepenthes rafflesiana has only been recorded from the west coast of Sumatra, between Indrapura and Barus.

Nepenthes rafflesiana generally occurs in open, sandy, wet areas. It has been recorded from kerangas forest, secondary formations, margins of peat swamp forest, heath forest, and seaside cliffs. It grows at elevations ranging from sea-level to 1200 m or even 1500 m.
Nepenthes rafflesiana is a scrambling vine. The stem may climb to a height of 15 m and is up to 10 mm thick. Internodes are up to 20 cm long. Tendrils may be over 110 cm long.

The lower pitchers of N. rafflesiana are bulbous and possess well-developed fringed wings. These terrestrial traps rarely exceed 20 cm in height, although the giant form of N. rafflesiana is known produce pitchers up to 35 cm long and 15 cm wide. Upper pitchers are funnel-shaped and often bear a distinctive raised section at the front of the peristome. Both types of pitchers have a characteristically elongated peristome neck that may be 3 cm or more in length.

Pitcher colouration varies greatly from dark purple to almost completely white. The typical form of N. rafflesiana is light green throughout with heavy purple blotches on the lower pitchers and cream-coloured aerial pitchers.

The inflorescence is a raceme and grows between 16 and 70 cm tall. The red or purple flowers usually occur singly, or sometimes in pairs, on each flower-stalk.

Young plants are wholly covered with long, caducous, brown or white hairs. Mature plants often have a sparse indumentum of short, brown hairs, though they may be completely glabrous.

Nepenthes pitopangii

Nepenthes pitopangii

Nepenthes pitopangii
Nepenthes pitopangii  is a tropical pitcher plant endemic to Lore Lindu National Park in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. Only a single plant of this species is known and efforts to locate further populations on surrounding mountains have so far been unsuccessful. Nepenthes pitopangii appears to be closely related to N. glabrata.
Botanical history

Nepenthes pitopangii was first discovered by British veterinarian, Jonathan Newman, during a birdwatching expedition through Lore Lindu National Park in September 2006. Newman came across the plant “[w]hile trying to get closer to a roosting Diabolical Nightjar [Eurostopodus diabolicus]”, and initially thought it was N. eymae.The online publication of his trip report the following month brought the taxon to the attention of botanists. Further habitat photographs of N. pitopangii were posted online in January 2008 by Alfindra Primaldhi, who found the plant independently, having not seen Newman’s report.
Stewart McPherson found only four lower pitchers of N. pitopangii during his field studies

In July 2007, Stewart McPherson and Greg Bourke visited the plant and determined that it represented a previously unknown species. McPherson returned to the site with Ch’ien Lee in April 2008 to make further observations of the plant in preparation for its formal description. During these field trips, McPherson climbed three mountains near to the type locality, but was unable to find any additional specimens of N. pitopangii.

The first detailed description of the species appeared in the second volume of McPherson’s Pitcher Plants of the Old World, printed in May 2009. The formal description of N. pitopangii was published in the October 2009 issue of the The Gardens’ Bulletin Singapore. The holotype of N. pitopangii, RP 2054, was collected by Rahmadanil Pitopang on May 30, 2007, from Lore Lindu National Park in Sulawesi, Indonesia. It is deposited at the Herbarium Celebense (CEB) of Tadulako University. This collection by Pitopang, the curator of Herbarium Celebense, represents the earliest herbarium material of this species, which is named in his honour.

Due to the extreme rarity of N. pitopangii, its type locality was not disclosed in the formal description.

The only known individual of this species is a large male plant with numerous branched stems reaching up to 2 m in length. All of the stems are united by a single rootstock.[2] The stem is dark red to purple, with numerous tiny green spots.

Leaves are sessile. The lamina (leaf blade) is linear to lanceolate and measures up to 15.6 cm in length by 3.4 cm in width. Its apex may be acute or obtuse and it is rounded at the base, clasping the stem for around half of its circumference. The lamina is green, while the midrib and tendril range in colour from green to red.During his field studies, Stewart McPherson observed only four terrestrial pitchers of N. pitopangii and thus their description is based on a very small sample size. Rosette and lower pitchers are ovate and slightly swollen in the basal half of the pitcher cup, becoming approximately cylindrical towards the pitcher mouth and exhibiting a slight hip. They are very small, growing to only 6 cm in height by 3 cm in width. A pair of wings (≤6 mm wide) typically runs down the ventral surface of the pitcher cup, with fringe elements measuring up to 4 mm in length. The peristome is cylindrical and up to 5 mm wide. It bears ribs up to 0.5 mm high and spaced up to 0.8 mm apart, which terminate in teeth up to 1.5 mm long. The pitcher lid or operculum is elliptic or sub-orbicular and does not bear any appendages. It measures up to 3.5 cm in length by 3 cm in width. The structure of the spur, which is inserted near the base of the lid, is unknown.

The upper pitchers are even shorter than their terrestrial counterparts, growing to only 4.5 cm in height by 3.7 cm in width. They narrow markedly just below the pitcher orifice, giving them their distinctive inflated appearance. In aerial traps, the ventral wings are reduced to ribs. The peristome is cylindrical and measures up to 3 mm in width. It bears ribs up to 0.3 mm high and spaced up to 0.45 mm apart. Peristome teeth are completely absent in upper pitchers. On the inner surface of the pitcher cup, the digestive glands form a conspicuous band of black dots around the waterline of the pitcher fluid. Glands located elsewhere on the interior of the pitcher are yellow and far less prominent. This species does not appear to possess the highly viscous pitcher fluid of species such as N. inermis. The lid is sub-orbicular and up to 2.9 cm long by 2.8 cm wide. As in lower pitchers, it lacks appendages. An unbranched spur up to 1.5 mm long is inserted near the base of the lid.

Nepenthes pitopangii has a racemose inflorescence measuring up to 37 cm in length by 2.5 cm in diameter. The peduncle itself may be up to 18 cm long by 3 mm wide, whereas the rachis is up to 20 cm long. The inflorescence bears one-flowered pedicels (7–9 mm long), with the lowermost ones sometimes bearing a filiform bract up to around 0.5 mm long. The elliptic tepals measure up to 2 mm in length. Androphores are 2.5–3 mm long. The female inflorescence and fruits of this species are unknown.

An indumentum of silver-brown hairs (≤0.5 mm long) is present on developing pitchers and lower parts of the tendrils. The plant is otherwise glabrous.

Nepenthes pitopangii is known from just one individual at a remote locality in Lore Lindu National Park, Central Sulawesi, where it grows in a previously logged forest. It has been suggested that it established itself from a stray seed prior to the forest’s regeneration, which would have presumably prevented further N. pitopangii plants from surviving past the seedling stage. Stewart McPherson considers it “highly likely” that there are further, as yet undiscovered, populations of N. pitopangii in Central Sulawesi.
A short stem bearing lower pitchers, one of numerous offshoots from the single underground rootstock

Nepenthes pitopangii is recorded from secondary lower montane forest situated at around 1800 m altitude. The only known specimen grows in shady conditions amongst tall shrubs and its stems appear to flower frequently, although it is unknown whether this is a usual habit of N. pitopangii in general. The species is sympatric with N. maxima and N. tentaculata, but no natural hybrids have been recorded.

Despite growing in a national park, the future of the only known specimen of N. pitopangii is not secure. When McPherson returned to the type locality in 2008 (following his initial observations of N. pitopangii in the previous year), he found that the plant had been reduced to nearly half of its original size by plant collectors who had taken numerous cuttings in the intervening period.

Nepenthes pilosa

Nepenthes pilosa

Nepenthes pilosa
Nepenthes pilosa  is a tropical pitcher plant endemic to Borneo. It is characterised by a dense indumentum of long yellow-brown hairs. Pitchers have a distinctive hook-shaped appendage on the underside of the lid. The specific epithet derives from the Latin word pilosus, meaning “hairy”.

Nepenthes pilosa was for a long time conflated with N. chaniana and, with the exception of the type material, all specimens identified as N. pilosa prior to the description of N. chaniana in 2006 actually represent the latter species.

In Pitcher-Plants of Borneo, Anthea Phillipps and Anthony Lamb list this species under the common name Golden-Furred Pitcher-Plant, although this was published before the recognition of N. chaniana as a distinct species.


Nepenthes pilosa is a climbing plant. The stem may reach a length of more than 7 m and is up to 9 mm in diameter. Internodes are up to 7 cm long and circular in cross section.

Leaves are petiolate and coriaceous or thin-coriaceous in texture. The lamina or leaf blade is obovate-lanceolate to lanceolate in shape. It measure up to 30 cm in length by 7.5 cm in width. The apex of the lamina is rounded or shortly acuminate and may be slightly peltate. The lamina is abruptly attenuate towards the base. The petiole is triangular and up to 6 mm wide. It is grooved and bears a pair of narrow wings that form an amplexicaul sheath around the stem and are decurrent for up to 2.5 cm, terminating abruptly in a rounded base. Four or five logitudinal veins are present on either side of the midrib. Pinnate veins are indistinct and irregularly reticulate. Tendrils are usually around 1.5 to 2 times as long as the lamina.

Rosette and lower pitchers are ovate in the lower portion, becoming cylindrical above. They are up to 10 cm high by 4 cm wide and typically have prominent ribs on their ventral surface in place of wings. The pitcher mouth has an oblique insertion. The peristome is flattened and up to 7 mm wide at the rear. It bears a series of ribs spaced ⅓ to ¼ mm apart, which terminate in short teeth that are barely longer than they are broad. The glandular region covers the ventricose portion of the pitcher’s inner surface. The digestive glands are overarched and number 600 to 700 per square centimetre. The pitcher lid or operculum is roughly orbicular, subcordate, and around 2.5 cm long by 2.5 cm wide. It is relatively flat, although it has a central keel in its basal part. Extrafloral nectaries are scattered on the underside of the lid, becoming smaller and more numerous towards the margins.

Upper pitchers gradually arise from the ends of the tendrils, forming a 15 to 20 mm wide curve. They are infundibular in shape and reach much greater dimensions than their lower counterparts, measuring up to 18 cm high by 8 cm wide. Like terrestrial pitchers, they lack wings, instead having a pair of prominent ribs. The pitcher mouth is positioned almost horizontally at the front, but rises into a neck (≤3 cm high) towards the rear. The flattened peristome is up to 12 mm wide and bears ribs spaced ⅓ mm apart which terminate in short teeth. Virtually the entire inner surface of the pitcher is glandular, having very small overarched glands at a density of 2000 to 2500 per square centimetre. The pitcher lid suborbicular, deeply cordate, and measures up to 7 cm in length. Small round glands are scattered throughout the lower surface of the lid and a prominent hook-like crest is present near the base.

Nepenthes pilosa has a conspicuous indumentum of yellow-brown hairs.[2] This covering is particularly dense on developing parts and on the underside of the lamina in mature leaves. It is notably absent from the upper surface of the lamina.

Herbarium specimens dry to a reddish-brown colour on the stem and the underside of the leaves, while the upper surface of the lamina is typically fallow.
[edit] Ecology

Nepenthes pilosa is endemic to the mountain range of Bukit Batu Lesung (likely synonymous with Ketang Lesung) in East Kalimantan, Borneo.[2] The mountain has been described as a “long sandstone ridge with several small peaks”. The typical habitat of this species is mossy forest. A population of approximately 200 plants has been found growing at an elevation of around 1700 m.

Nepenthes pilosa is classified as Endangered on the 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, based on an assessment carried out in 2000

Nepenthes northiana

Nepenthes northiana

Miss North’s Pitcher-Plant

Nepenthes northiana , or Miss North’s Pitcher-Plant, is a tropical pitcher plant endemic to Borneo, where it grows at elevations ranging from 0 to 500 m above sea level. The specific epithet northiana honours Marianne North, who first illustrated the species. Nepenthes northiana is one of the most famous Nepenthes and its discovery in the latter half of the 19th century contributed to Sarawak’s reputation as a land of spectacular exotic plants.

Nepenthes northiana is a climbing plant. The stem may attain a length of 10 m and is up to 15 mm in diameter. Internodes are up to 25 cm long and cylindrical to triangular in cross section.
Rosette plant with a lower pitcher

The leaves of this species are chartaceous and sessile to sub-petiolate. The lamina is oblong-obovate in shape and up to 40 cm long by 10 cm wide. It has an acute apex and is gradually attenuate towards the base. The base is semi-amplexicaul and decurrent into a pair of wings. Up to 4 longitudinal veins are present on either side of the midrib. Pinnate veins are indistinct. Between 30 and 60 nectar glands are present on the lower surface of the lamina. Tendrils are up to 100 cm long.

Rosette and lower pitchers are generally ovoid, sometimes being slightly cylindrical in the upper part. They are some of the largest in the genus, reaching 40 cm in height and 15 cm in width. Exceptionally large pitchers can hold more than a quart (946 ml) of fluid. A pair of fringed wings (≤15 mm) runs down the front of the pitcher. The pitcher mouth is ovate, slightly raised towards the rear, and has an oblique insertion. The impressive peristome of this species is greatly expanded at the sides (≤25 mm wide) and often has undulate margins. Its inner edge is lined with short but distinct teeth. The lid or operculum is ovate to oblong in shape, lacks appendages, and has an acute apex. An unbranched spur (≤20 mm long) is inserted near the base of the lid. Upper pitchers are similar to their lower counterparts but differ in being infundibular throughout. The wings are often retained in aerial pitchers, although they may be reduced to ribs.
Lower pitcher measuring 40 cm

Typical upper pitcher

Nepenthes northiana has a racemose inflorescence. The peduncle is up to 60 cm long, while the rachis is up to 40 cm long, although male inflorescences are generally shorter. Partial peduncles are mostly two-flowered and reach 50 mm in length. The seeds of N. northiana are quite atypical of the genus in that they have short appendages, a large embryo, and are unusually woody in texture. Their structure prevents them from being carried great distances by wind.[19] A study of 120 pollen samples taken from a herbarium specimen (J.H.Adam 2378, collected at an altitude of 30 m) found the mean pollen diameter to be 29.8 μm (SE = 0.4; CV = 6.0%).

The species lacks a distinct indumentum, as all parts of the plant are virtually glabrous. The stem and leaves are light green. The pitchers are greenish-white in colour with numerous red blotches. The peristome is white to red with darker stripes.
[edit] Ecology

Nepenthes northiana is endemic to the Kuching Division of Sarawak, particularly the hills around the village of Bau. The species has an altitudinal distribution of 0 to 500 m above sea level and is restricted to limestone substrates.
Nepenthes northiana growing in large clumps on the limestone cliffs of Bau

Nepenthes northiana generally grows in exposed sites on near-vertical limestone cliffs with permanent water seepage. Less commonly it occurs in secondary vegetation on small hills. It is sympatric with other limestone flora such as Alocasia longiloba var. lowii.

The conservation status of N. northiana is listed as Vulnerable on the 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species based on an assessment carried out in 2000.[24] This agrees with the informal classification of the species made by botanist Charles Clarke in 1997. However, it differs from the assessment by the World Conservation Monitoring Centre, which classified N. northiana as “endangered”.

Quarrying activity has damaged several of the hills on which N. northiana grows, although this has apparently not affected the plants directly.[= In addition, natural populations of N. northiana have suffered from over-collection in recent years.Plants of this species have a high commercial value and are thus highly sought after by collectors. In their 1996 monograph Pitcher-Plants of Borneo, Anthea Phillipps and Anthony Lamb wrote that N. northiana “has been over-collected nearly to the point of extinction”. Despite this, the short term future of the species appears to be secure, as most remaining plants are inaccessible to collectors.

Nepenthes neoguineensis

Nepenthes neoguineensis


Nepenthes neoguineensis

Nepenthes neoguineensis  is a tropical pitcher plant native to the island of New Guinea, after which it is named.
Botanical history

Nepenthes neoguineensis was first collected in 1828 by Alexander Zipelius near Triton Bay, New Guinea. Two further collections were made by Gerard Martinus Versteeg on June 19[II] and September 25, 1907.N. neoguineensis was again collected on May 10, 1910, by Knud Gjellerup.

The first name applied to this species was Nepenthes leptoptera by Hermann Zippel in 1900. However, this name is not valid as it only appeared on the label of a herbarium specimen (HLB.908.154-597) deposited at the National Herbarium of the Netherlands in Leiden.

Nepenthes neoguineensis was described by John Muirhead Macfarlane in 1911 based on the specimen Versteeg 1746, which consists of female plant material.

In 1916, Henry Nicholas Ridley described what he believed represented a male plant of N. neoguineensis. However, in his seminal monograph “The Nepenthaceae of the Netherlands Indies”, B. H. Danser showed that it belonged to a closely related but distinct species, which he named N. papuana.

Nepenthes neoguineensis is a climbing plant. The stem is up to 6 mm thick and cylindrical to obtusely angular in cross section, especially in the upper part of the internodes. Internodes are up to 4 cm long.
Climbing stems with inflorescences

Leaves are chartaceous and petiolate. The lamina is lanceolate and reaches 25 cm in length and 4.5 cm in width. It has an acute apex and is gradually or rather abruptly attenuate towards the base. Three or four indistinct longitudinal veins are present on either side of the midrib. Pinnate veins ascend obliquely from the midrib and are irregularly reticulate in the outer part of the lamina. Tendrils are up to 4 mm thick and about as long as the lamina.

Upper pitchers gradually arise from the ends of the tendrils, forming a 7 to 23 mm wide curve. They are infundibulate in the lower part, somewhat ventricose at two-fifths of their height, and widened towards the mouth. A pair of fringed wings (≤8 mm wide) runs down the entire length of the pitcher. The pitcher mouth is oblique and acuminate towards the lid. The peristome is cylindrical or flattened and up to 1.5 mm wide. The glandular region covers the lower third of the inner surface of the pitcher. The glands occur at a density of about 700 to 900 per square centimetre. The lid is suborbicular, truncate or slightly emarginate, and rounded or slightly cordate at the base. Round, depressed glands are present on the undersurface of the lid, being concentrated and increasing in size towards the middle. A flattened, unbranched spur (≤3 mm long) is inserted at the base of the lid.
Upper pitchers

The male inflorescence is a long, cylindrical panicle. The peduncle reaches 12 cm in length and 4 mm in width. The rachis is attenuate and up to 44 cm long. Pedicels lack bracteoles, reach 55 mm in length, and are one- to four-flowered. Tepals are orbicular-elliptical and around 4 mm long. Stamens are about 4 mm long, including the anthers.

The female inflorescence is a panicle-like raceme. The peduncle may be up to 15 cm long and 2.5 mm wide. The rachis is attenuate and reaches 20 cm in length. Pedicels are up to 35 mm long and most have filiform bracteoles. They are one- to three-flowered. Tepals are oblong-lanceolate and approximately 4 mm long. The ovary is sessile.

Nepenthes neoguineensis has a very sparse indumentum. The stem is virtually glabrous, as is the lamina. Tendrils are densely hirsute when young, becoming only hairy near the pitcher or entirely glabrous when mature. Pitchers have a dense covering of caducous stellate hairs. The exception is the spur, which has persistent stellate hairs. Inflorescences have a very dense indumentum of short, white or brownish stellate hairs. The pedicels, tepals and the ovary are very densely stellate-tomentose.

Lower pitchers range in colour from light green to dark purple throughout. Upper pitchers are generally yellowish-green, often with a darker peristome and bright red lid. Herbarium specimens are fallow-dun in colour.
Nepenthes neoguineensis growing in a clay-based substrate

Nepenthes neoguineensis is native to New Guinea and the nearby D’Entrecasteaux Islands. The species is relatively widespread in the former, ranging across the entire length of the island and occurring in both Papua New Guinea and the Indonesian portion of the island (Western New Guinea). As such, its conservation status is listed as Least Concern on the 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Nepenthes neoguineensis grows on river edges, river gravel bars, ridge crests, and rarely in open grassland or disturbed forest. It has a wide altitudinal distribution, occurring from sea-level to an elevation of 900 or even 1400 m.

In the wild, N. neoguineensis occurs sympatrically with N. ampullaria and N. maxima.

Nepenthes mirabilis

Nepenthes mirabilis

Common Swamp Pitcher-Plant

Common Swamp Pitcher-Plant, Nepenthes mirabilis
Nepenthes mirabilis , from Latin: mirabilis = wonderful), or the Common Swamp Pitcher-Plant, is a tropical carnivorous plant species of the pitfall trap variety. It has by far the widest distribution of any Nepenthes species and is known from the following countries and regions: Borneo, Sumatra, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sulawesi, Maluku Islands, Myanmar, Cambodia, New Guinea, Australia, Philippines, Indochina, China, Hong Kong, Micronesia, Macau, and Palau. It also exhibits great variabiliy with the most forms and varieties of any species in the genus, the most notable of which is N. mirabilis var. echinostoma, a rare variety endemic to Brunei and Sarawak that possesses an extremely wide peristome.

The conservation status of N. mirabilis is listed as Least Concern on the 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. In Hong Kong, it is a protected species under Forestry Regulations Cap. 96A.

According to Matthew Jebb and Martin Cheek, the pitchers of N. mirabilis are used as toy phallocrypts in New Guinea.

A slender vine not exceeding a stem diameter of 2 cm.

Each leaf consists of a petiole, a blade, a coiled zone (tendril) and ends in a pitcher about 10-14 cm long with lid. Petioles about 3.5-8 cm long, sometimes winged, distinctly channelled on the upper surface. Blades about 12-25 x 3.5-6 cm. Both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaf blade clothed in small brownish ‘glands’ or excrescences.

Male flowers: Inflorescence about 45 cm long, each flower about 13-15 mm diam. Tepals about 7 x 4 mm, outer surface clothed in matted white hairs. Stamens fused into a column. Female flowers: Inflorescence about 22 cm long, each flower about 10 mm diam. Tepals about 4 x 2 mm, outer surface clothed in matted white hairs. Ovary about 7-10 mm long. Stigma sessile, 4-lobed. Ovules numerous, filiform.

Capsules usually 3 or 4-valved, splitting from the apex to the base. Capsules about 20 x 5-6 mm. Seeds very numerous. Seed including the two wings about 9-10 x 0.5 mm. Seeds about 1.2-0.3 mm. Embryo cylindrical, about 0.5-0.6 mm long. Cotyledons about as long and as wide as the radicle.

Features not available.
Distribution and Ecology

Occurs in CYP and NEQ. Altitudinal range from near sea level to 300 m. Usually grows in swampy open forest or heath, occasionally found in or on the margins of swampy rain forest. Also occurs in Malesia.
Natural History

Commonly cultivated in handing baskets and is usually grown in glasshouses because it requires warm conditions to do well.