Friday, August 31, 2012

Nepenthes spectabilis (N. Sumatra)

Nepenthes spectabilis is from N. Sumatra and Aceh,  Philippines, growing at 1400 to 2200 meters above sea level. "Spectabilis," is latin for "visable" or "notable," probably because it is a very striking, colorful species when mature. It's also a very variable species. Mine is the North Sumatra form, the nicest of them all, (in my opinion anyway.)

When I saw the one that the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx had in their greenhouse, I knew I needed one in my collection too. Unfortunately, this Nepenthes hates me. I bought it years ago when my other highland Neps seemed to be doing well. I'm not sure why it is so sensitive to temperature when all the other highland Neps, (that are supposedly harder to make happy,) do fine here.

The whole plant, looking a little beat up.
This is the 1st pitcher it has made in about a year. Highland Nepenthes species specifically need warm days, about 70-80°F/21-27°C and bright light. They also need cooler nights, between 50-60°F/10-16°C. Growing at such a high elevation they have adapted to growing at night within that temperature range and need it for long term health. There are "ultra-highland" Nepenthes that need even cooler nights than that. I haven't even attempted to grow them, there's no way I can keep anything colder than that at night unless I use a refrigerator (and some serious hobbyists do.) I can provide a temperature drop at night, but it may not be cool enough some parts of the year and they understandably will sometimes temporarily stop or slow pitchering. This one's super sensitive though, and only made this pitcher because the temps have been dipping around 55-60°F at night lately. I'd like to say I hate it the way it hates me, but I don't, and I'll be keeping it, even if it only pitchers a few times a year.


  1. It sure is a stunning pitcher with the lovely stripes around the rim. Shame that it's abit diificult to look after though but I guess the challenge makes it even more rewarding. Interesting about how some hobbyists use fridges to accommodate their plants; that's love & passion. :)

    1. Yeah, it's too pretty, plus what's the fun in growing "easy" plants, I love a good challenge. I can't afford to go too crazy with the picky species, not only are they very expensive, but so would by utility bills!

  2. Melody
    Parabéns pelo blog é lindo.
    O Meu é de orquídeas

    1. Thank you! I don't speak any Portuguese, but Google translate works well enough to understand.