Nepenthes ampullaria

Nepenthes ampullaria


Nepenthes ampullaria Jack in Comp. Bot. Mag. 1: 271. 1835 sec. Cheek & Jebb 2001
    • Lectotype: Singapore, W. Jack s.n. (SING)
  • =Nepenthes ampullacea H.Low ex W.H.Baxter, Suppl. Hort. Brit.: 593. 1850 syn. sec. Cheek & Jebb 2001
  • Nepenthes ampullacea H.Low, Sarawak: 69. 1848, nom. nud., syn. sec. Cheek & Jebb 2001
  • =Nepenthes ampullaria var. guttata Moore in Gard. Chron. 1872: 360. 1872 syn. sec. Cheek & Jebb 2001
  • =Nepenthes ampullaria var. vittata-major Mast. in Gard. Chron. 1872: 542. 1872 syn. sec. Cheek & Jebb 2001
  • =Nepenthes ampullaria var. vittata André in Ill. Hort. 24: 272. 1877 syn. sec. Cheek & Jebb 2001
  • =Nepenthes ampullaria var. geelvinkiana Becc., Malesia 3: 8. 1886 syn. sec. Cheek & Jebb 2001
  • =Nepenthes ampullaria var. longicarpa Becc., Malesia 3: 8. 1886 syn. sec. Cheek & Jebb 2001
  • =Nepenthes ampullaria f. vittata Hort. ex Beck in Wiener Ill. Gart.-Zeitung 20: 150. 1895 syn. sec. Cheek & Jebb 2001
  • =Nepenthes ampullaria var. microsepala Macfarl. in Nova Guinea 8: 340. 1910 syn. sec. Cheek & Jebb 2001
  • =Nepenthes ampullaria var. racemosa J.H.Adam & Wilcock in Mal. Nat. J. 44: 30. 1991 syn. sec. Cheek & Jebb 2001

Other sources

Jebb, M. H. P. & Cheek, M. R. 1997: A skeletal revision of Nepenthes. – Blumea 42(1): 1-106: 18
Kurata, S. 1973: – Gard. Bull. Singapore 26(2): 227
Kurata, S. 1976: Nepenthes of Mt Kinabalu, Sabah. – Sabah National Parks Trustees, Kota Kinabalu: 34
Danser, B. H. 1928: – Bull. Jard. Bot. Buitenzorg, sér. 3, 9: 265
Phillipps, A. & Lamb, A.L. 1996: Pitcher Plants of Borneo: 67, f. 40
Shivas, R. G. 1984: Pitcher Plants of Peninsula Malaysia & Singapore. – Singapore: Maruzen Asia: 27
Nepenthes ampullaria var. vittata André in Ill. Hort. 24: 272. 1877: Beck von Mannagetta und Lerchenau, G. 1895: Die Gattung Nepenthes. – Wiener Ill. Gart.-Zeitung 20: 96-107, 141-150, 182-192, 217-229: 150 (as Nepenthes ampullaria var. vittata André in Ill. Hort. 24: 272. 1877)
Tamin, R. & Hotta, M. 1986 – In: Hotta, M., Diversity and Dynamics of Plant Life in Sumatra. – Kyoto: Sumatra Nature Study (Botany), Kyoto University: 81
Jebb, M. H. P. 1991: An account of Nepenthes in New Guinea. – Science in New Guinea 17: 7-54: 21, f. 4 & 8
Clarke, C. M. 1997: Nepenthes of Borneo. – Kota Kinabalu: Natural History Publications: 65, f. 40-43


Terrestrial climber to 15 m tall, with many terrestrial and some aerial rosettes. Stem cylindrical, 1-1.5 cm diam., internodes 1.5-7 cm long. Leaves sessile or with a short, poorly defined petiole, blade thickly chartaceous, lanceolate to spathulate; rosette leaves 2-5 by 0.5 cm, climbing leaves c. 25 by 6 cm; apex acute, rarely acuminate, base attenuate, clasping the stem by 1/2 its circumference. Longitudinal nerves 3-5 on each side of the midrib, in the outer 1/3 or 1/2. Pennate nerves numerous, oblique, straight, nearly reaching the margin. Lower pitchers obliquely urceolate, semi-circular on dorsal side, almost flat ventrally, to 10 by 9 cm, with two fringed wings to 1.5 cm broad, the fringe elements 0.5-1 cm long, 0.2 mm apart; mouth oval, almost horizontal, straight; peristome flattened, to 1.5 cm wide, and sloping steeply inwards; lid narrowly oblanceolate, to 4 by 1.5 cm, apex rounded, base cuneate, lower surface lacking appendages, nectar glands extremely sparse, usually 6-12, sometimes absent, orbicular, broadly bordered, 0.4-0.5 mm diam., central pore c. 0.1 mm diam.; spur simple or branched, up to c. 10 mm long. Upper pitchers generally not developed, rudimentary, broadly infundibuliform, c. 2 by 2 cm. Male inflorescence a panicle to 40 by 4-5 cm; peduncle 2.5 cm long, 3 mm diam. at base; partial peduncles 8-12(-50) cm long, fasciculate at apex, (1-)3-6(-10)-flowered; bracts foliose, spathulate, 12-14 by 4-5 mm, inserted 0-2 mm from base of partial peduncles; pedicels 7-8 mm long; tepals broadly elliptic, 4-5 by 3-5 mm, androphore 3-5 mm long; anther head 2 by 1.5 mm. Indumentum densely velvety in young parts, under leaf blades, especially margins, on young pitchers and on the inflorescence; hairs red or brown, mostly simple, c. 0.3 mm long. Colour of pitchers usually green, deeply flecked with maroon, rarely entirely red, sometimes almost whitish yellow, with pale pink flecks, likewise the leaves of these pitchers may be a pale yellow-pink if buried beneath leaf litter; tepals green to yellow; indumentum deep red.A


The globular pitchers of N. ampullaria with their reflexed linear-oblong lids are not easily confused with any other species. The habit of this species is characteristic, with numerous rosettes sunken in the leaf litter or moss of the forest floor, and tall climbing stems which lack upper pitchers, though pitchers may be borne in rosettes arising from stems up to 2 m from the ground. Recently a few isolated cases of plants bearing upper pitchers have been reported in Brunei and Peninsular Malaysia. These are small, infundibuliform pitchers no more than 2 cm high, but extremely uncommon.
The species is apparently absent from the Moluccas and Sulawesi, but the eastern (New Guinea) and western (Thailand to Borneo) populations are morphologically indistinguishable.
Hybrids between this species and N. gracilis (N. trichocarpa) and N. rafflesiana (N. hookeriana) are widespread though scarce, and are treated in this account.A
[Nomenclature of N. ampullaria Jack: IPNI (acc. 23 feb 2017; gives the protologue reference as "Desc. Malay. Pl. iii. [1823 ?] 23.". The (posthumous) publication in Comp. Bot. Mag. is supposed to be a reprint from the "Malayan miscellanies". Part 1 and 2 of the "Descriptions of Malayan Plants" can be found in Vol. 1 (1820) of that publication; an unnumbered subsequent part with the same title in Vol. 2 (1822). These two volumes are accessible on-line under [acc. 24 Feb 2017]. Neither of them contains Nepenthes. See also note under N. rafflesiana.B
[Nomenclature of N. ampullaria f. vittata Beck:] Original entry in IPNI: "Nepenthes vittata hort. ex Beck, Wiener Ill. Gart.-Zeitung (April 1895) 150." Beck's text clearly states that this is a forma ("Formen der N. ampullaria: 1. vittata Hort.").B

Distribution (General)

Thailand, Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, New Guinea.A


Damp shady-forest, in Borneo swamp and kerangas forest, in New Guinea Araucaria forest, also in secondary forest, open microphyllous vegetation, or swamp grassland; sea level to 200(-2100) m.A


A. Cheek, M. R. & Jebb, M. H. P. 2001: Flora Malesiana - Nepenthaceae, Series I, Volume 15. – Leiden: Nationaal Herbarium Nederland, Universiteit Leiden branch
B. Berendsohn, W. G. & al. 2018: Using the EDIT Platform for Cybertaxonomy to prepare and publish a treatment for the Caryophyllales Network: an online synthesis of the Nepenthaceae. – Willdenowia 48: 335-344.


CountryDateCollector + collecting numberHerbariaTypeScanDerivatives
SingaporeJack, W. s.n.SING
Citation: Singapore, W. Jack s.n.

Specimen summary: SING
Lectotype of Nepenthes ampullaria Jack