Monday, August 6, 2012

Nepenthes bicalcarata

Nepenthes bicalcarata is one of the more popular species, but rather picky about it's cultivation, so not everyone can grow them. I'm lucky enough to have a large terrarium, large enough for Nepenthes. I turned it into a lowland terrarium to grow Nepenthes and orchids that like life hot and humid all the time. N. bicalcarata is from Borneo, growing in peat swamps and forests, usually found growing below 300m above sea level. The name bicalcarata translated from Latin is  a combination of "bi" = "two", and "calcaratus" meaning "spur," referring to the two spurs growing from the peristome/beneath the lid and giving this plant the nickname, the "fanged pitcher plant." The fangs are actually nectaries, but their purpose to the plant is still debated.

I bought this plant as a tiny, recently deflasked and imported seedling in 2009. It is finally starting to mature. Seriously, most Nepenthes are slow growers until they mature, but when they do, they explode, so by this time next year I should have some huge pitchers. 

It is difficult to try to get pictures of anything in the terrarium. Between the massive amount of lighting and the glass reflecting every speck of dust and hard water stain the pictures didn't come out so well. I'm about to tear the whole thing down to clean it so I'll try to get better pictures of everything in there when I can take everything out to.

From the side
From the back so you can see the "fangs"

The whole plant
The fangs are more pronounced when the plant is mature, so I'm excited to see how this one turn out. I also bought it as an orange clone, but it looks too red to me. In fact all the seedlings I bought with this one from the same source/vendor are not quite what they were supposed to be, but that's a whole other post.


  1. Fascinating plants, and knowing your blog has increased my interest no-end. Love the pitchers. This one a real Dracula!

    1. Thanks, they are very interesting. That's why I ended up with so many for sure. It's the leaves that are the best part for once, not ever grown the flower, (those are pretty simple and small.)

  2. Wow, what a cool looking plant; love the name and the fangs, very Count Duckula, hehe. Looking forward to seeing more pics/updates of this one. The photos look great! If I was a plant, I'd be happy to live in that terrarium. How's Spidertown going? :)

    1. Thanks, this has always been one of my favorities! Spidertown is difficult, every time I open the cellar doors, everyone hides. Working on it though!