Nepenthes mira

Nepenthes mira

Synonymy

Nepenthes mira Jebb & Cheek in Kew Bull. 53: 966. 1998 sec. Cheek, M.R. & Jebb, M.H.P., 2001
    • Isotype: Philippines, Palawan, fl, 22 Jan 1998, G. C. G. Argent, Q. Cronk, M. Mendum, D. Middleton, P. Wilkie, R. Fuentes & R.V. Chavez 25438 (E).
    • Holotype: Philippines, Palawan, fl, 22 Jan 1998, G. C. G. Argent, Q. Cronk, M. Mendum, D. Middleton, P. Wilkie, R. Fuentes & R.V. Chavez 25438 (K).
    • Isotype: Philippines, Palawan, fl, 22 Jan 1998, G. C. G. Argent, Q. Cronk, M. Mendum, D. Middleton, P. Wilkie, R. Fuentes & R.V. Chavez 25438 (PNH).

Other sources

Jebb, M.H.P. & Cheek, M.R. in Kew Bull. 54. 1999: 891, f. 893

Description

Terrestrial climber to 3 m tall. Stem terete, 8-14 mm diam., internodes 3-5 cm long on climbing part; axillary buds inconspicuous, in sunken pockets. Leaves chartaceous, petiolate; those of rosettes and short stems, unknown; those of climbing stems narrowly oblong, 35-50 by 8-10.5 cm, apex rounded, not peltate, base acute and abruptly decurrent into the petiole; petiole winged, 3.5-8 by 0.6 cm, wings ascending, 3-4 mm wide, petiole base clasping the stem by about 2/3 its circumference and decurrent down the internode for c. 8 mm. Longitudinal nerves 4(-6) on each side of the midrib in the outer half, conspicuous on both surfaces. Pennate nerves numerous, arising at 70-80° from the midrib, slightly ascending, then proceeding towards the margin, branching, becoming highly reticulate, fairly conspicuous on both surfaces. Lower pitchers shortly ellipsoid to globular, 26 by 13 cm, the lowest part of the mouth 14 cm from the base of the pitcher, mouth c. 11 cm diam., body of pitcher with two fringed wings in the upper half of the pitcher only, 5.5 cm by 7 mm, fringed elements 8-9 mm long, usually paired, the pairs 2.5-3 mm apart, mouth circular to broadly ovate, oblique, abruptly arising in the rear to provide a stout column almost 5 cm high by 1.5-3 cm wide, in transverse section an isosceles triangle, the long sides being formed by the extended peristome, the apex with two rows of teeth, each tooth up to 8 mm long; peristome very broad, gently rounded in the middle, ribs laterally flattened, papery, highly pronounced, 1-5 mm high, 2 mm apart, with c. 10 striae parallel to and intermediate between each pair of ribs, outer edge of peristome flattened, 0.5-1 cm wide, shallowly sinuate, with 2-4 shallow, pointed lobes on each side or more or less entire, the inner peristome surface flattened, 2.5-3 cm long, held close to the inner pitcher wall at the mouth but slowly diverging from the wall towards the base of the pitcher, so as to form a funnel and ter-minating in stout, straight teeth c. 7 mm long on the inner edge below the mouth or up to 8 mm long on the column; lid ovate-elliptic, 6.5 by 4.5 cm, apex rounded, base gently rounded to shallowly cordate, lower surface lacking appendages, glands dense and evenly spread over the lower surface, volcano-like, circular, less usually shortly elliptic, 0.15-0.2 mm diam., smallest towards the edge of the lid; spur erect, stout, c. 4 mm long, undivided. Upper pitchers cylindrical to funnel-shaped, 15.5 cm tall, c. 4 cm diam. in the lower half, gradually widening to c. 6 cm wide at the mouth, lacking wings, mouth circular, slightly oblique, column c. 3 cm high, peristome with ribs 0.5 mm high, c. 1 mm apart, outer edge of the peristome appressed to the pitcher wall, inner edge as the lower pitcher, but c. 1.5 cm long, teeth 3 mm long; lid ovate, 4.5 by 3 cm, apex rounded, base cordate; spur dorsiventrally flattened, 6.5 by 1.5 mm, divided into two acute parts for half its length. Inflorescences with unpleasant smell. Male inflorescence 61 cm long, 3 cm at widest point; peduncle 53 cm long, 5 mm wide at base; partial peduncles c. 35, evenly spaced, 2-flowered, lacking bracts, 5-7 mm long; pedicels 10-13 mm long; tepals elliptic, 4 by 1.75 mm; androphore 2.5-3 mm, anther head 1 by 1.1-1.25 mm. Fruit and seed unknown. Indumentum of red sessile glands densely and evenly spread on stem, upper and lower leaf surfaces and pitchers; youngest parts of stem, lower midrib, tendril, upper surface of the lid of the upper pitchers and the peduncle densely pubescent with numerous caducous, unequally 2-4-armed, pale reddish brown hairs, the arms ascending or decumbent, longest arms up to 1.5 mm long; pitchers with densely scattered simple stout red multicellular hairs, 0.2-0.4 mm long; partial peduncles, pedicels, the central area of the abaxial tepals, the carpels and androphore, more or less completely concealed by appressed coppery hairs 0.4 mm long. Colour of pitchers maroon, lightly speckled with darker purple or green, speckled dark red. Peristome purple, lid purple on greenish background. Flowers opening green, turning dark red.A

Notes

Nepenthes mira falls within the N. villosa group, comprising four species, of which the remaining three are all found in Sabah, Borneo. These species are robust plants with stout stems reaching the 1-2 cm diameter range, with a villose indumentum that is usually caducous. The leaves are large, with well-defined, winged petioles. The pitchers are large (10 cm diam. or more in most specimens of all species), with unusual papery ribs 1-5 mm high, that are not reduced and indeed, are sometimes exaggerated, on the stout column. The pitcher lids lack appendages and the inflorescences are densely covered in coppery red hairs. Although N. mira has all these characters, it is unusual in occurring below 2000 m altitude, in having both upper and lower pitchers commonly expressed (in the other species, only one or the other are usually found), in the lower pitchers having lids only about half as long as the mouths and in possessing constantly 2-flowered partial peduncles.
Nepenthes spec. Philippines II’ of Rischer & Nerz (URL: http://joachim-nerz.de/ (02 May 2012 10:35 (2012)) , represented by four pictures, with captions, taken in habitat, appears to fall within N. mira. Photographed in moss forest, it appears to differ from N. mira only in the lower pitcher having a less prominently toothed peristome column and in the pitcher wings running from peristome to tendril. These differences seem compatible with infraspecific variation. However, their photographs of ‘Nepenthes spec. Philippines I’ (l.c.) depicts non-climbing, shrubby plants in a grassland habitat and differ more significantly from the material available to us of N. mira in the smaller leaves with less conspicuous petioles and in the pitcher wings running from peristome to tendril. In some respects their ‘spec. Philippines I’ approaches the description of the mysterious N. deaniana. However, it might also represent a variant of N. mira. Without specimens it is difficult to reach a firm conclusion.
The earliest reference to N. mira may be that by Elmer Leafl. Philipp. Bot. 4 (1912) 1494-1496 at the end of his protologue for N. graciliflora (a synonym of N. alata), where he wrote: “recently the writer observed a large sterile species on Mount Pulgar of Palawan. Some of its pitchers were a foot long and six inches thick!”A

Distribution (General)

Philippines: Palawan.A

Habitat

Submontane forest and grassland on unknown substrate; c. 1580 m.A

Bibliography

A. Cheek, M.R. & Jebb, M.H.P., Flora Malesiana - Nepenthaceae, Series I, Volume 15. 2001

Images

Specimens

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