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Nepenthes [Periuk Kera] December 22, 2006

Posted by detikdirham in Introduction to Malaysia, Visit Malaysia 2007.
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Twenty one species of Nepenthes have been recorded in Sarawak. They usually grow on poor, acid soils, deficient in nitrogen. They are carnivorous plants which trap insects in the pitchers to provide them with some of their nitrogen needs.

Nepenthes start as rosette plants and mature into tendril climbers. Some of the tendrils bears funnel-shaped pitchers. Different species have pitchers of different shapes and colours. Most of the species are terrestrial while some are epiphytic.

The most spectacular species is N. lowii where the pitcher has a narrow constriction half-way up. N. ampullaria, N. rafflesiana and N. gracilis are found by roadsides while N northiana is endemic to limestone. Other species are confined to swamp forest and montane forest.

Habitat: Locally occasional in peat swamp, kerangas, limestone, mixed dipterocarp forest, submontane and montane forests, from sea level to 2,700m above sea level.

Distribution: Throughout Sarawak but many species are site specific.

Note: Nepenthes are threatened because of their high horticultural value.

Some species of pitcher plants commonly found in Sarawak’s lowlands:
* Nepenthes lowii
* Nepenthes rafflesiana
* Nepenthes muluensis
* Nepenthes ampullaria
* Nepenthes bicalcarata

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