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Nepenthes: Carnivorous Pitcher Plant: Buy Plants & Seeds Online Sale

Updated on December 28, 2013

Nepenthes: Pitcher Plant

Nepenthes is a medium sized plant with large green leaves and a funny looking body. These bodies are also nicknamed “monkey cups”, since many primates have been seen drinking the liquid from inside the pitcher. It looks like a long tube that can grow up to a foot, and can be as short as a few centimeters. The actual size of the plant may depend on the species of the plant, or the environment conditions. Above each pitcher, there is a small leaf that acts as a cover from rainwater. Outside the entrance to the pitcher, a slippery coating of fluid surrounds a colorful brim, which may vary for each species. There are over a hundred species recorded.

Nepenthes Truncata
Nepenthes Truncata
Nepenthes Pervillei
Nepenthes Pervillei

Nepenthes: A Carnivorous Plant

Because the Nepenthes lives in a poorly fertile and humid climate, they need insects and small organisms to survive, so they are true carnivorous plants. The opening of each pitcher is enriched with sweet nectar and a waxy coating that looks attracting to bugs. Once they land, many of them fall into to plant, and drown eventually in the pitcher of water (can be watery or syrup). Common victims are flies, beetles, mosquitoes and their larvae, (or course, larvae can swim, but the digestive fluids may kill them), moths and butterflies, and worms. Even small lizards, frogs, injured birds or mice may make their way into the pitcher. This is rarer than the Nepenthes’ normal prey, but they are more nutritious and supply the plant with a lot of food.

Interesting Info about Nepenthes Rajah, Attenboroughii, and Ventricosa

Pitcher Plant Nepenthes Crab Spider
Pitcher Plant Nepenthes Crab Spider
Nepenthes Ampullaria
Nepenthes Ampullaria

Nepenthes Crab Spider Lives Inside Nepenthes for Life

One spider, called the Nepenthes Crab Spider, is usually a white or red arthropod that lives inside the plant for it’s entire life. It feeds on the insects that drown in the liquid, since it is too dangerous for the spider to attack a live one. They will go “fishing” in the pitcher, attaching itself first with silk, and use an air supply trapped with the hairs on their back. Even though this takes the plants food, it helps the pitcher digest. The Crab Spider doesn’t become food itself, since its legs are able to grip on the walls. Inside the Nepenthes, glands on the bottom of each pitcher absorb the minerals from the prey and leaves behind the shell, which eventually dissolves in the harsh liquid.

Buy Nepenthes Carnivorous Plants Books

Upper Pitcher of Nepenthes Edwardsiana
Upper Pitcher of Nepenthes Edwardsiana

Growing Conditions for Nepenthes

Nepenthes tend to live around Madagascar, the Seychelles, Sri Lanka, and India. The climate around these regions’ forests is humid and has lots of rain. They do not need much sunlight, as many Nepenthes live under thick foliage and have few predators. Many types of these plants are human made hybrids, which are being sold as modern plants. They are great for catching unwanted insects as well, so they would be helpful at home or in a greenhouse to get rid of common pests. Nepenthes is an odd but beautiful plant to have.

Nepenthes Species

The complete list of Nepenthes species includes 129 recognized extant species, an additional 4 incompletely diagnosed taxa, and three possible extinct species.

For more information, visit Nepenthes on Wikipedia

Nepenthes adnata
Nepenthes harryana x
Nepenthes paniculata
Nepenthes alata
Nepenthes hirsuta
Nepenthes Papua *
Nepenthes alba
Nepenthes hispida
Nepenthes papuana
Nepenthes albomarginata
Nepenthes holdenii
Nepenthes peltata
Nepenthes alisaputrana x
Nepenthes hookeriana x
Nepenthes pervillei
Nepenthes ampullaria
Nepenthes hurrelliana
Nepenthes petiolata
Nepenthes andamana
Nepenthes inermis
Nepenthes philippinensis
Nepenthes angasanensis
Nepenthes insignis
Nepenthes pilosa
Nepenthes argentii
Nepenthes izumiae
Nepenthes pitopangii
Nepenthes aristolochioides
Nepenthes jacquelineae
Nepenthes platychila
Nepenthes attenboroughii
Nepenthes jamban
Nepenthes pyriformis x
Nepenthes bauensis x
Nepenthes junghuhnii
Nepenthes rafflesiana
Nepenthes beccariana
Nepenthes kampotiana
Nepenthes rajah
Nepenthes bellii
Nepenthes kerrii
Nepenthes ramispina
Nepenthes benstonei
Nepenthes khasiana
Nepenthes reinwardtiana
Nepenthes bicalcarata
Nepenthes kinabaluensis x
Nepenthes rhombicaulis
Nepenthes bokorensis
Nepenthes klossii
Nepenthes rigidifolia
Nepenthes bongso
Nepenthes kongkandana
Nepenthes rowanae
Nepenthes boschiana
Nepenthes kuchingensis x
Nepenthes sanguinea
Nepenthes burbidgeae
Nepenthes lamii
Nepenthes saranganiensis
Nepenthes burkei
Nepenthes lavicola
Nepenthes sarawakiensis x
Nepenthes campanulata
Nepenthes lingulata
Nepenthes sharifah-hapsahii x
Nepenthes cantleyi x
Nepenthes longifolia
Nepenthes sibuyanensis
Nepenthes chang
Nepenthes lowii
Nepenthes singalana
Nepenthes chaniana
Nepenthes macfarlanei
Nepenthes smilesii
Nepenthes cincta x
Nepenthes macrophylla
Nepenthes spathulata
Nepenthes clipeata
Nepenthes macrovulgaris
Nepenthes spectabilis
Nepenthes copelandii
Nepenthes madagascariensis
Nepenthes stenophylla
Nepenthes danseri
Nepenthes major **
Nepenthes Sulawesi *
Nepenthes deaniana
Nepenthes mantalingajanensis
Nepenthes sumatrana
Nepenthes densiflora
Nepenthes mapuluensis
Nepenthes suratensis
Nepenthes diatas
Nepenthes masoalensis
Nepenthes surigaoensis
Nepenthes distillatoria
Nepenthes maxima
Nepenthes talangensis
Nepenthes dubia
Nepenthes merrilliana
Nepenthes tenax
Nepenthes echinatus **
Nepenthes merrilliata x
Nepenthes tentaculata
Nepenthes echinosporus **
Nepenthes micramphora
Nepenthes tenuis
Nepenthes edwardsiana
Nepenthes mikei
Nepenthes thai
Nepenthes ephippiata
Nepenthes mindanaoensis
Nepenthes thorelii
Nepenthes eustachya
Nepenthes mira
Nepenthes tobaica
Nepenthes eymae
Nepenthes mirabilata x
Nepenthes tomoriana
Nepenthes faizaliana
Nepenthes mirabilis
Nepenthes treubiana
Nepenthes ferrugineomarginata x
Nepenthes misool *
Nepenthes trichocarpa x
Nepenthes flava
Nepenthes mollis
Nepenthes truncalata x
Nepenthes fusca
Nepenthes muluensis
Nepenthes truncata
Nepenthes gantungensis
Nepenthes murudensis
Nepenthes trusmadiensis x
Nepenthes glabrata
Nepenthes naga
Nepenthes tsangoya x
Nepenthes glandulifera
Nepenthes neoguineensis
Nepenthes veitchii
Nepenthes gracilis
Nepenthes northiana
Nepenthes ventrata x
Nepenthes gracillima
Nepenthes ovata
Nepenthes ventricosa
Nepenthes gymnamphora
Nepenthes Palawan *
Nepenthes vieillardii
Nepenthes hamata
Nepenthes palawanensis
Nepenthes villosa
Nepenthes hamiguitanensis
Nepenthes pangulubauensis x
Nepenthes vogelii
x - Natural Hybrids; * - Incompletely diagnosed taxa; ** - Possible extinct species

Planet Earth: Nepenthes Video

Feeding Carnivorous Plants


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    • snakebaby profile image

      Sabrina Yuquan Chen (陈玉泉) 7 years ago from Boston, MA, USA

      @fucsia: It is, isn't it? All carnivorous plants are just amazing!

    • fucsia profile image

      fucsia 7 years ago

      Wow!! This plant is fascinating!

    • profile image

      Gift Ideas 7 years ago

      Nepenthes are indeed interesting carnivorous plants. Sometimes you wonder whether they are actually animals

    • snakebaby profile image

      Sabrina Yuquan Chen (陈玉泉) 7 years ago from Boston, MA, USA

      They have fascinated me too, just amazing and unbelievable, and there are so many species to my shocking. We once had a pot of fly catcher too, just asked my husband where it was and whether I was dreaming having one, ha, he said we indeed had one, and it was so easy to die :(

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Carnivorous plants have always fascinated me. I used to have a fly catcher when my kids were little but they overfed it and it died.