Nepenthes masoalensis

Nepenthes masoalensis


Nepenthes masoalensis Schmid-Holl. in Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 97(4): 567. 1977 sec. Jebb & Cheek 1997 wfo-0001086534
      Type: Madagascar, Antanampanihy prov., Antalaha district, Serv. d'Agric. d'Antalaha, Ambato, 1949, Zakahosy s.n. (P designated by Schmid-Hollinger 19771)
  • 1. Schmid-Hollinger, R. 1977: Nepenthes-Studien IV. Eine neue Nepenthes-Art aus Madagascar, Nepenthes masoalensis sp. nov. – Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 97(4): 575-585


Scrambling or climbing stems up to 5 m long.
The lamina is linear, slightly lanceolate or elliptic, up to 30 cm long and 6 cm wide. 3-5 nerves run parallel to the leaf margin. The apex of the leaf is acute, the base is attenuate, sub-petiolate, 1 cm wide, clasps the stem and may become slightly decurrent (with narrow wings running one or two centimetres down the stem). The lower pitchers are borne on tendrils up to 70 cm long which allows them to dangle from climbing plants and rest upon ground, where insect prey is most abundant. Tendrils are up to 25 cm long where support for the upper pitchers is required, and they may coil up to three times around the branches of supporting vegetation. The lamina is green and the stem, midrib and tendril may be green, yellow or orange. The indumentum is comparable to that of N. madagascariensis.
The lower pitchers are up to 12 cm tall and 4.5 cm wide. The bottom half of the pitcher is ovate and swollen, sometimes becoming almost spherical. The pitcher narrows above this part, often forming a faint hip, and becomes cylindrical towards the pitcher opening. Wings up to 8 cm wide, fringed with filaments up to 3 mm long, run down the front of the pitcher. The wings are often incurved towards one another. The peristome is up to 5 mm wide and is lined with fine ribs up to 0.34 mm high, spaced up to 0.3 mm apart. A distinct gap of several millimetres is usually present in the peristome below the lid. The peristome is of a consistent width around the margin of the pitcher opening, except for at the very back. On both sides of the gap, the peristome is expanded to form two triangular points up to 8 mm long. The lid is orbicular, elliptic or ovate, up to 4.5 cm long by 4 cm wide. A pronounced keel is often present near the base of the lid; it may be almost triangular in shape and is normally a few millimetres deep. The underside of the lid is evenly and sparsely lined with 80-100 (maximum 150) large, circular nectar glands (up to 2 mm in diameter), with few glands near the periphery of the lid. The spur is up to 5 mm long, flattened and is sometimes forked (Eric Schlosser, pers. comm.).
The exterior of the lower pitcher is often reddish orange or reddish purple. The interior of pitcher is light pink or almost white, and the peristome may be yellow, green, orange or red. Both sides of the lid are the same colour as the pitcher exterior.
The upper pitchers are up to 19 cm tall and 5 cm wide. The bottom quarter to third of the pitcher is ovate and slightly swollen, and on the interior, there are 120-400 digestive glands per cm2. The pitcher narrows above this part, usually forming a distinct hip, and is cylindrical or very slightly infundibular towards the pitcher opening. The peristome is up to 8 mm wide, lined with fine ribs up to 0.25 mm high, spaced up to 0.3 mm apart. Much like N. madagascariensis, the peristome is expanded below the lid, and at that part may be up to 4 mm wide. All other parts are similar to the lower pitchers.
The upper pitchers are usually entirely bright yellow, but in some plants the lower surface of the lid may be bright red and the peristome flushed orange or red. Occasionally the cylindrical upper part of the pitcher may be reddish (Eric Schlosser, pers. comm.).
N. masoalensis flowers at the same time as for N. madagascariensis (September / October). The inflorescence is an elongated panicle, 20-50 cm long. The smooth peduncle is 8-10 cm long and 5 mm in diameter in male plants and up to 20 cm long and 8 mm thick in female plants. The first branching axis reaches 5-6 cm in length, decreasing to 1 cm long branches towards the apex. Crowded groups of 4 (in female plants) to 12 (in male plants) flowers are borne on pedicels without bracts. The tepals are oval, 2.5 mm long and 1.5-2.5 mm wide, and bear nectar glands. In female inflorescences tepals persist at the narrow base of the seed capsule and are 3-5 mm long and 2.5 mm wide. The capsule is ovoid or fusiform, 1-2 cm long, the valves are oval or lanceolate, 6 mm wide at the lower base. The light brown seed is 3-7 mm long, 0.75 mm thick, straight, the nucleus strongly transversely wrinkled, the wings get gradually thinner towards the end.A


Closely related to N. madagascariensis, it differs in its upper pitchers being cy­ lindrical or ventricose-tubular, not wholly infundibulate; the lid is rounded and never emarginate or broader than long; the leaves are scarcely petiolate, and the venation of this species is distinct in the way the pennate nerves are more distinct, and curve to an almost perpendicular arrangement, unlike those of N. madagascariensis, which are scarcely separable from the longitudinal nerves, in that they tend to curve towards the apex.B

Distribution (General)

Madagascar: Masoala peninsula, and Mt. Mbato regionB


Pandanus and Sphagnum swamp, mountain ridgetops, xerophytic veg­ etation; 30-400 m altitude.C


A. McPherson, S. R. 2009: Pitcher Plants of the Old World 2. – Poole: Redfern Natural History Productions
B. Jebb, M. H. P. & Cheek, M. R. 1997: A skeletal revision of Nepenthes. – Blumea 42(1): 1-106
C. Schmid-Hollinger, R. 1977: Nepenthes-Studien IV. Eine neue Nepenthes-Art aus Madagascar, Nepenthes masoalensis sp. nov. – Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 97(4): 575-585


CountryDateCollector + collecting numberHerbariaTypeScanDerivatives
Madagascar1949Zakahosy s.n.P
Citation: Madagascar, Antanampanihy prov., Antalaha district, Serv. d'Agric. d'Antalaha, Ambato, 1949, Zakahosy s.n.

Specimen summary: P
Type for: Nepenthes masoalensis Schmid-Holl.