Nepenthes spathulata

Nepenthes spathulata


Nepenthes spathulata Danser in Bull. Jard. Bot. Buitenzorg, sér. 3, 13: 465. 1935 sec. Cheek & Jebb 2001
    • Isolectotype: Sumatra, Lampongs, Mt Tanggamus, alt. 2000 m, Jan 1935, Lieftinck 11 (BO)
    • Lectotype: Sumatra, Lampongs, Mt Tanggamus, alt. 2000 m, Jan 1935, Lieftinck 11 (L)

Other sources

Jebb, M. H. P. & Cheek, M. R. 1997: A skeletal revision of Nepenthes. – Blumea 42(1): 1-106: 81


Terrestrial or epiphytic shrub or climber to 1-2 m tall. Stems of short shoots terete or slightly angular, 0.8 cm diam., internodes 1-2 cm long; climbing stems strongly 4-angular, 0.5-0.8 cm diam., internodes 2.5-8 cm long, axillary buds conical, 1 by 1 mm, 3 mm above the axil. Leaves coriaceous, sessile or petiolate; leaves of rosettes and short stems petiolate, blades spathulate-obovate, 17-25 by 5-7 cm, apex rounded, slightly emarginate or obtuse, barely peltate, base attenuate into a 4-7 cm long, petiolar portion, 0.8-1 cm wide, sheathing the stem and clasping it by 4/5 its circumference; leaves of climbing shoots sessile oblanceolate-oblong or spathulate-elliptic to spathulate (8-)10.5-18(-22) by (1.5-)3-4(-4.6) cm, apex acute, base gradually attenuate, or abruptly contracted into a subpetiolate oblong 3-4.5 by 1.5-2 cm, clasping the stem by 1/2 its circumference, the base more or less auriculate, the auricles nearly meeting on the opposite side of the stem. Longitudinal nerves 2 or 3 on each side of the midrib in the outer 2/3-1/2, fairly conspicuous. Pennate nerves inconspicuous. Lower pitchers ovoid-cylindrical, 16-19 by 5-6 cm, tapering to 3.5-4.5 cm wide at the mouth, with two fringed wings 3-6 mm wide, fringed elements 3-7 mm long, 1-3 mm apart; mouth narrowly ovate, oblique, concave, rising at the rear into a column; peristome flattened, 3-4 mm wide in the front half of the mouth, 2-3.5 cm wide in the rear half, ribs c. 0.7 mm high, 1 mm apart, outer edge with 3-6 shallow lobes on each side in the rear half, more or less entire in the front half, inner edge with teeth 3-5 mm long in the rear half, inconspicuous in the front half; lid ovate, (4.9-)6-6.5 by 3.8-5 cm, apex rounded, base truncate or shallowly cordate, the lower surface lacking appendages, but sometimes with a low keel along the midline, nectar glands circular or shortly elliptic (to elliptic on the midline), narrowly bordered, 0.4-0.8 mm diam., usually confined to the midline, rarely scattered over the entire surface; spur dorsiventrally flattened, 10 by 1 mm, divided by 3-8 mm into 3-6 branches. Upper pitchers either subcylindrical, slightly constricted in the middle, or, with the lower half broadly to narrowly ellipsoid and the upper half cylindrical, (10-)16-23.5 cm tall, (4-)5-6(-8.5) cm broad in the lower half, (2.5-)3-4(-5.5) cm broad in the upper half, with two unfringed narrow wings or prominent ridges 1-2 mm wide running the length of the pitchers; mouth less concave and oblique than the lower pitchers; peristome narrower, (0.5-)1-1.6 cm wide in the upper half, ribs shallower, 0.1-0.3 mm high, outer margin shallowly lobed; lid as the lower pitcher, but 5-5.5 by 4-4.5 cm, keel absent, nectar glands 0.3-0.6 mm diam.; spur unknown. Male inflorescences 14-24 by 2.5-3 cm; peduncle 6-6.5 cm long, 2-3 mm diam. at the base; partial peduncles 40-60, 1-flowered; bract filiform, 1.5-2.5(-5) mm long; pedicels 9-10 mm long; tepals oblong-elliptic, 4-5.5 by 2.5-3 mm; androphore 3-4 mm long; anther head 1.5 by 1.75 mm. Infructescences held horizontally, 16-25 by 3.5-7 cm; peduncle 11-15 cm long, 3.5-4.5 mm diam. at the base; fruits all held erect, 20-40. Fruit with valves 20-24 by 3-3.5 mm. Seed 11-15 by 0.5-0.75 mm. Indumentum of stems, lower leaf blade and pitcher with sessile red glands c. 0.1 mm diam.; pitcher matted or sparsely puberulent with simple or branched pale brown or white hairs 0.2-0.5 mm long; spur lightly white sericeous; inflorescence sericeous with fine white simple hairs 0.3-0.5(-0.7) mm long, sparse on peduncle, dense on rhachis to lower tepals; ovary golden with dense sericeous hairs; androphore glabrous. Colour of lower surface of leaf blade, orange-brown when dry; live pitchers green or green spotted light purple or red, with scarlet peristome.A


Although closely related to N. singalana, N. spathulata can be distinguished by the sharply angular stems (although collections of N. singalana overlap in this character), the greatly expanded peristome, in which the ribs are not as tall and papery as those in N. singalana, in the lid which is ovate (vs. orbicular-cordate in N. singalana), and the lid glands which are fewer, and generally densest and largest near the midline of the lid (vs. evenly distributed in N. singalana) in a manner similar to those of N. gymnamphora and N. pectinata. Danser considered these latter two species as the most closely allied species to N. spathulata, but we see a closer affinity with N. ovata.
Nepenthes spathulata shows one of the more extreme examples of leaf dimorphy in the genus. The leaf blades of the rosettes/short stems are strikingly broad and spathulate with a distinct petiole and sheathing base around the terete stem, whereas the leaves of the longer stems are sessile and almost ligulate, auriculate at the base and clasping the markedly quadrangular stem.A

Distribution (General)

S Sumatra.A


Forest or open slopes; 1550-2200 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
1935-01Lieftinck 11BO, L
Citation: Sumatra, Lampongs, Mt Tanggamus, alt. 2000 m, Jan 1935, Lieftinck 11

Specimen summary: BO
Isolectotype of Nepenthes spathulata Danser

Specimen summary: L
Lectotype of Nepenthes spathulata Danser