Nepenthes gracillima

Nepenthes gracillima

Synonymy

Nepenthes gracillima Ridl. in J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 38: 320. 1908 sec. Cheek, M.R. & Jebb, M.H.P., 2001
    • Isotype: Peninsular Malaysia, Pahang, G. Tahan, alt. 990 m, 29.5.1905, Wray & A. Robinson 5309 (BO).
    • Lectotype: Peninsular Malaysia, Pahang, G. Tahan, alt. 990 m, 29.5.1905, Wray & A. Robinson 5309 (SING).
  • =Nepenthes alba Ridl. in Fl. Malay Pen. 3: 22. 1924 syn. sec. Cheek, M.R. & Jebb, M.H.P., 2001
    • Isotype: Peninsular Malaysia, Pahang, G. Tahan, alt. 1500 m, 3.6.1905, Wray & A. Robinson 5411 (BO).
    • Lectotype (designated by in Blumea 42. 1997: 44): Peninsular Malaysia, Pahang, G. Tahan, alt. 1500 m, 3.6.1905, Wray & A. Robinson 5411 (SING).
  • –(p.p.) "Nepenthes singalana" sensu Macfarlane 1908: 472; sensu Macfarlane 1914: 2823, non Becc., err. sec. Cheek & Jebb 20011
  • 1. Cheek, M.R. & Jebb, M.H.P., Flora Malesiana - Nepenthaceae, Series I, Volume 15. 2001, 2. Macfarlane, J.M. - in Engler, A., Pflanzenreich IV. 111 (Heft 36). 1908, 3. Macfarlane, J.M. in J. As. Soc. Beng. 75(3). 1914

Other sources

Kiew, R. in J. Wildlife and National Parks (Malaysia) 10: 34-37. 1990: 36
partim (Shivas, R.G., Pitcher Plants of Peninsula Malaysia & Singapore. 1984: 31)
Ridley, H.N. in J. As. Soc. Beng. 75(3). 1914: 282
excl. syn. Nepenthes ramispina (Danser, B.H. in Bull. Jard. Bot. Buitenzorg, sér. 3, 9. 1928: 296)
Macfarlane, J.M. - in Engler, A., Pflanzenreich IV. 111 (Heft 36). 1908: 38
Jebb, M.H.P. & Cheek, M.R., A skeletal revision of Nepenthes in Blumea 42(1): 1-106. 1997: 43

Description

Terrestrial climber 1-5 m tall. Climbing stems sub-angular (-terete), 0.2-0.5 cm diam., internodes 0.5-1.5(-8) cm; axillary buds inconspicuous. Leaves thinly coriaceous, sessile, those of climbing stems lanceolate to oblanceolate, 5-10(-16) by 1-1.5 (-2) cm, apex acute, base cuneate, amplexicaul, clasping the stem for 1/2 its circumference, slightly auriculate, not decurrent; rosette leaves oblanceolate, 4-7 by 1-1.5 cm. Longitudinal nerves 0-3 on each side of midrib, in outer half of blade, fairly conspicuous. Pennate nerves inconspicuous. Lower pitchers infundibuliform below, cylindrical above, 5-10 by 1-3.5 cm with two fringed wings c. 2 mm broad, fringed elements to 3 mm long, 0.5-1.5 mm apart, otherwise as upper pitchers. Upper pitchers infundibuliform below, abruptly narrowing at 1/2-3/4 height and then cylindrical, but gradually broadening to mouth, 6-15(-17.5) by 0.9-2.8 cm, wings absent; mouth elliptic, oblique, concave; peristome slightly flattened in cross section, 1.5-3 mm wide; lid orbicular to broadly ovate, 1.2-2.3 by 1.2-2 cm, apex rounded, base cordate, lower surface lacking appendages, nectar glands circular, bordered, 0.4-0.5(-0.7) mm diam., more or less even-sized, sometimes interspersed with smaller glands 0.15-0.2 mm diam.; spur 2-3 mm long, flattened, unbranched, slightly curved. Male inflorescences 23-27 by 2-2.5 cm; peduncle 9-10 cm long, 1-1.5 mm diam.; partial peduncles 2-flowered at base, 1-flowered at apex, 50-65, 1-4 mm long; bract inserted between rhachis and apex, filiform, 2-6(-8) mm long, spreading; pedicels 4.5-7 mm long; tepals elliptic 3.5-4 by 2 mm; androphore c. 2.5 mm long; anther head c. 1.5 by 1.5 mm. Fruit valves c. 18 by 3 mm. Seed fusiform, 9-10 mm long, central body smooth. Indumentum of very short simple hairs, < 0.05 mm long, sparse or absent from stems and leaves; axils sparsely pubescent, pitcher including lid and inflorescence likewise. Colour of lower pitchers deep purple to blackish green; upper pitchers pale green in lower part, becoming pale yellow to ivory-white above, with rose coloured markings throughout, rarely purple.A

Notes

Nepenthes gracillima can be distinguished from the closely related N. ramispina by its smaller size. The pitcher is not as attenuated, the spur is usually simple, the lid glands are larger, fewer and more uniform in size, and the whole plant is somewhat glabrescent. The coloration of the upper pitchers of N. gracillima is particularly striking: they are green in their lower part, becoming pale yellow to ivory-white in their upper parts, with rose coloured markings throughout. Kiew discussed the species on G. Tahan in some detail in Kiew in J. Wildlife and National Parks (Malaysia) 10 (1990) 34-37.
There has been confusion about the Nepenthes of upland Peninsular Malaysia: N. gracillima, N. macfarlanei, N. ramispina, and N. sanguinea. Danser in Bull. Jard. Bot. Buitenzorg III 9 (1928) 296 reduced N. ramispina to a synonym of N. gracillima. He regarded the delimitation of the remaining species as confused by hybrids. Amongst herbarium specimens, hybrids seem to be common, but this may be an artifact of collector selection of unusually large or different individuals. The ecology of the species is distinct (Kiew in J. Wildlife and National Parks (Malaysia) 10 (1990) 34-37). Nepenthes gracillima and N. ramispina are no doubt a closely related pair, but a distinct morphological disjunction correlates with the western and eastern mountain ranges of Peninsular Malaysia. Whilst we acknowledge that hybrids are to be found, nonetheless it is possible to key the majority of highland Peninsular Malaysia specimens as here.
Danser misidentified a specimen of N. gracillima (Ridley 16097) as belonging to N. alata (see there) (Kiew J. Wildlife and National Parks (Malaysia) 10 (1990) 34-37).
Ridley described N. gracillima from Mt Tahan collections in 1908 (see reference above). At the same time he identified other specimens collected on the same expedition as N. bongso Korth. In 1924 (Ridley in Fl. Malay Pen. 3 (1924) 22) he corrected this identification, and described the latter specimens as a new species: N. alba. He also (Ridley in Fl. Malay Pen. 3 (1924) 22) described N. ramispina from Mt Semangka in the Genting Highlands. Danser in Bull. Jard. Bot. Buitenzorg III 9 (1928) 296 reduced all these names to N. gracillima, but we have reinstated N. ramispina (Jebb & Cheek in Blumea 42 (1997) 66). Danser’s illustration (in Bull. Jard. Bot. Buitenzorg III 9 (1928) f. 7) is of N. ramispina.

Distribution (General)

Peninsular Malaysia: the eastern mountain ranges, Banjaran Timur; G. Tahan and G. TapisA

Habitat

Open areas or amongst scrub, on quartzitic soils or heavily weathered rock; 1300-2100 m.A

Bibliography

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

Specimens

CountryDateCollector + collecting numberHerbariaTypeScanDerivatives