Sunday, 25 January 2009

Nepenthes reinwardtiana

Another to add to my collection of Nepenthes, this time the Nepenthes reinwardtiana. Although this species is rather widespread in places like Sumatra and Borneo, commercial nurseries in Singapore do not appear to have it, which probably explains why I paid rather handsomely for it. 

This species can be found in a variety of habitats, including roadside embankments to lowland rainforests, exposed rock faces, peaty spagnum swamps and growing en-masse on trees. Although this is a climbing species and therefore mostly terrestrial in nature, it can also be entirely epiphytic, forming great masses on the larger tree branches of the canopy where light is plentiful. 

The pitchers are up to 25cm long, narrowed in the middle, then flared towards the large, oval, sloping mouth. The colouration ranges from a pure pale green to a dark red. The lid is also oval, with evenly scattered small glads all over the underside. This species is distinguished by the usual presence of 2 waxy "eyes" on the inside of the pitcher but the function of these remain unknown. 

N. reinwardtiana is an easy species to grow under typical lowland conditions with high temperatures and humidity resulting in larger pitchers.  It also strikes readily from cuttings, which is great news because I will be able to propagate them. 

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