Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The black pitcher - Nepenthes ramispina

This is one of the species of pitcher plants endemic to Peninsula Malaysia and is most closely related to N. gracillima and the white pitcher N. alba. While the latter 2 are confined to the Gunung Tahan mountain, this species is widespread across the central Titiwangsa range at altitude above 1000m.

The species is most recognisable by its striking pitcher which is black to dark purplish grey on the outside (including the periostome) and a contrasting pale green on the inside. The shape is also distinguishable, being elongated with a distinct "hip" at the midway. According to literature the pitcher can be 20cm long but only those one third the reported size were sighted.

Not far away, we found an aberrant specimen which had a mottled pitcher. I believe this is a natural hybrid Nepenthes ramispina x macfarlanei ....

...its other parent, N. macfarlanei, was also found on the same locality. It has a squat pitcher that flare at the top and a nice fleckled pattern - a trait which was passed down to the hybrid. You can see my previous entry of this plant here.

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