Nepenthes philippinensis

Nepenthes philippinensis


Nepenthes philippinensis Macfarl. in Engler, Pflanzenr. IV. 111 (Heft 36): 43. 1908 sec. Cheek & Jebb 2001
    • Lectotype: Philippines, Palawan, Mt Pulgar, Curran 3896 (K)
  • =Nepenthes wilkiei Jebb & Cheek in Kew Bull. 53: 966. 1998 syn. sec. Cheek & Jebb 2001
    • Isotype: Philippines, Palawan, Mendum & al. 25545 (E)
    • Holotype: Philippines, Palawan, Mendum & al. 25545 (K)
    • Isotype: Philippines, Palawan, Mendum & al. 25545 (PNH)

Other sources

Cheek, M. R. & Jebb, M. H. P. 1999: Nepenthes (Nepenthaceae) in Palawan, Philippines. – Kew Bull. 54(4): 887-895: 888, f. 1


Terrestrial climber to 10 m tall. Stem terete, 3.5-5 mm diam., internodes 2-5 cm long on climbing part; axillary buds inconspicuous. Leaves chartaceous, sessile, those of climbing stems oblanceolate-ligulate 14-28 by 1.7-3.6 cm, apex acute, base more or less parallel-sided, clasping the stem by a 1/3-1/2 its circumference, then decurrent in two wings, each 3 mm wide, extending 2-3 cm below the node, sometimes converging to only 4 mm apart on the opposite side to the leaf blade. Leaves of short stems and rosettes oblong-spathulate, up to 16 by 3.2 cm. Longitudinal nerves 4 or 5 on each side of the midrib, in the outer half of the blade, conspicuous. Pennate nerves numerous, at 45° from the midrib, branching sporadically, proceeding more or less straight to the margin, conspicuous on the upper surface. Lower pitchers ovoid in the lower 1/2-2/3, cylindrical towards the mouth, 8.5-16 by 3.5-8.5 cm (the cylindrical portion 2.2-3.8 cm wide), with two fringed wings each 2-4 mm broad with fringed elements 3-7 mm long, 2-4 mm apart; mouth oblique, ovate, 3-5 by 1.5-2.5 cm; peristome rounded, 1.5-2 mm wide in the front, or more usually unevenly flattened, 2.5-8.5 mm wide at the sides of the mouth, ribs 0.3-0.5 mm apart, conspicuous, about 0.1 mm high, outer edge with one or two shallow lobes, inner edge lacking teeth; lid broadly ovate to suborbicular, 2.6-3.7 by 2.5-3.2 cm, apex rounded or truncate, slightly retuse, usually with a slight fold, base slightly cordate; lower surface lacking appendages, glands sparsely scattered, absent from the midrib area (in a band c. 6 mm wide) and the marginal 2 mm, shortly elliptic or circular, crater-like, 0.2-0.3 mm long; spur unbranched, straight or curved, 3-4(-5) by 0.8 mm. Upper pitchers subcylindrical, slightly inflated in lower third, 18 by 4 cm (2.9 cm wide in the upper part), with two ridges 0.1-0.2 cm broad, lacking wings with fringed elements, otherwise as the lower pitchers. Male inflorescence 67 cm long; peduncle 18 cm long; partial peduncles c. 130, 2-flowered, 2.5-3(-4) mm long; bracts absent; pedicels 5-9 mm long; tepals 3-3.5 by 2-3 mm; androphore 3-4 mm long; anther head 1.25(-1.75) mm wide. Fruits and seeds unknown. Indumentum of sessile glands on lower surface of leaves and on exterior of pitchers; exterior of pitchers with scattered, unequally 2-5 armed red hairs 0.1-0.4 mm tall; inflorescence and lower surface of tepals pubescent with dull red-brown erect hairs 0.1-0.2 mm long. Colour of stems pale greyish brown with white waxy bloom; petioles red or green; pitchers green, speckled maroon in lower half, maroon speckled green in upper half; peristome maroon, inside of pitcher and lid green speckled maroon or entirely red, sometimes the whole pitcher maroon; flowers brown.A


Nepenthes philippinensis is an addition to the N. hirsuta group (Jebb & Cheek in Blumea 42 (1997) 7), previously thought to be confined to Borneo and centred in the north-east of that island. Of the species in that group, N. philippinensis is most closely related to N. macrovulgaris, a species confined to Sabah and, like N. philippinensis, apparently restricted to ultramafic areas. The species of this group are all low altitude species (only N. macrovulgaris sometimes occurs above 1100 m) with a well-developed rosetted, non-climbing phase (in some species, e.g. N. hirsuta, the climbing stems usually have few, and rather diminutive upper pitchers compared with the lower pitchers of the rosettes). In all species of the N. hirsuta group, both lower and upper pitchers are ‘hipped’, i.e. with an ovoid base and a cylindrical apex; the upper pitchers are never infundibuliform. The pitchers have oblique mouths, held at 45° from the vertical, lack a column, and have a cylindrical peristome c. 5 mm wide with a tendency, usually seen in some of the lower pitchers of most plants, to be slightly flattened with 1-3 shallow lobes at each side. Their lids lack appendages and their inflorescences have 2-flowered partial peduncles usually bearing small filiform bracts.
Nepenthes philippinensis Macfarl. has long been passed over. It was originally published without an illustration and the type was destroyed at PNH. No duplicate of the type has been located. On the basis of the description, it was ascribed to synonymy under N. alata Blanco (Jebb & Cheek in Blumea 42 (1997) 15) to which it is superficially similar though it lacks a lid appendage. However, a duplicate of the only other specimen cited in the protologue, Curran 3896, has now been located. Examination of the lid shows the characteristic gland distribution and slightly retuse apex of N. wilkiei and there is no doubt that the type of the latter is conspecific with Curran 3896.
The earliest illustration that we have traced for this species is Mann Carnivorous Plant Newsl. 27 (1998) f. 5 . According to Mendum and Wilkie (pers. comm.) Mann’s description of the site at which he discovered in October 1996 “an unknown species from Palawan Island” is identical to the site at which they collected the type of N. wilkiei climbing on trees of Gymnostoma. Mann’s figure 5 matches their material closely.A

Distribution (General)

Philippines: Palawan.A


Scrub on ultramafic soils; 25-520 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



CountryDateCollector + collecting numberHerbariaTypeScanDerivatives
Mendum & al. 25545E, K, PNH
Citation: Philippines, Palawan, Mendum & al. 25545

Specimen summary: E
Isotype of Nepenthes wilkiei Jebb & Cheek

Specimen summary: K
Holotype of Nepenthes wilkiei Jebb & Cheek

Specimen summary: PNH
Isotype of Nepenthes wilkiei Jebb & Cheek

Curran 3896K
Citation: Philippines, Palawan, Mt Pulgar, Curran 3896

Specimen summary: K
Lectotype of Nepenthes philippinensis Macfarl.