Nepenthes Kat Lester

I find this is much like a Mirabilis, that’s almost certainly in its parentage. Keep it warm, not too much light, and slowly adapt it to the windowsill. They seem to need high humidity while they are young. Pitchers vary from green to red on the same plant. It sends up lots of basil shoots and prefers hanging to climbing. There are often a dozen pitchers on the plant.

Lee’s Botanicals cultivated this plant, I think they may be the only source. I’ve not been able to find any other mention of it.

Nepenthes Truncata

Test tube babies

Nepenthes Truncata at PetFlyTrap.com

Nepenthes truncata gets its name from the square ending of the leaf before the pitcher. It is native to all of the Philippines where it grows in the hilly areas close to sea level. Pitchers can reach 16″ long. A botanical garden in France recorded it eating a mouse. I’m told it loves to eat wasps.

I had been growing it under a fluorescent light and on a windowsill. It’s now in a very bright south western window and it appears to love the sun much more than my other Nepenthes. A grower in Italy reports it can handle highland temps, I’m not sure I’d risk trying it.

The first reference to it I could find was in the 1911 Pennsylvania Botanical Society meeting notes.

I found mine from a seller of test tube plants on eBay.

Nepenthes Mirabilis var Globosa aka Nepenthes Viking

I slaughtered several of these before I figured them out. I find they need a lot of humidity to start. It’s best to keep them in a terrarium while they are small and ever so slowly adapt them to life on a windowsill.

I find they like less light than my other Nepenthes. They grow in a window that gets filtered morning light with a fluorescent lamp making up for the small amount of sunlight.

Pitchers are green to red, on the same plant, round with wings and grow on very long tendrils. Often there are a dozen or more pitchers. I’m not sure how large they will get, I’ve not seen photos of any more than 3″ or so in size.

The plants tend to be busy, sending up many basil shoots. They are hanging rather than climbing Nepenthes.

Mirabilis is a lowland plant, common to south east Asia. It has the widest know distribution of any of the Nepenthes. Mirabilis Var Globosa is only native to one island and the Thai mainland. There are dozens of natural hybrids. The habitat was wiped out in the 2004 tsunami. Plants are being cloned in labs in an attempt to re-establish the population.

Flowering plants downsized DNA to take over world

The abrupt origin and rapid diversification of the flowering plants during the Cretaceous has long been considered an “abominable mystery.” While the cause of their high diversity has been attributed largely to coevolution with pollinators and herbivores, their ability to outcompete the previously dominant ferns and gymnosperms has been the subject of many hypotheses. Common among these is that the angiosperms alone developed leaves with smaller, more numerous stomata and more highly branching venation networks that enable higher rates of transpiration, photosynthesis, and growth. Yet, how angiosperms pack their leaves with smaller, more abundant stomata and more veins is unknown but linked—we show—to simple biophysical constraints on cell size. Only angiosperm lineages underwent rapid genome downsizing during the early Cretaceous period, which facilitated the reductions in cell size necessary to pack more veins and stomata into their leaves, effectively bringing actual primary productivity closer to its maximum potential. Thus, the angiosperms’ heightened competitive abilities are due in no small part to genome downsizing.

read the paper

Article in Quanta Magazine