Nepenthes vieillardii

Nepenthes vieillardii

Synonymy

Nepenthes vieillardii Hook.f. in de Candolle, Prodr. 17: 104 (-105). 1873 sec. Jebb & Cheek 1997
    • Type
  • =Nepenthes neocaledonica F.Muell. ex Heckel in Ann. Fac. Sci. Marseille 1: 9. 1892 syn. sec. Cheek & Jebb 2001
  • =Nepenthes montrouzierii Dubard in Bull. Mus. Hist. Nat. 12: 66. 1906 syn. sec. Jebb & Cheek 1997
  • Nepenthes vieillardii var. montrouzieri (Dubard) Macfarl. in Engler, Pflanzenr. IV. 111 (Heft 36): 49. 1908 syn. sec. Jebb & Cheek 1997
  • =Nepenthes vieillardii var. deplanchei Dubard in Bull. Mus. Hist. Nat. 12: 66. 1906 syn. sec. Jebb & Cheek 1997
  • =Nepenthes humilis S.Moore in J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 45: 380. 1921 syn. sec. Jebb & Cheek 1997
  • Nepenthes vieillardii var. humilis (S.Moore) Guillaumin in Mém. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat., B, Bot. 15: 24. 1964 syn. sec. Jebb & Cheek 1997
  • =Nepenthes vieillardii var. minima Guillaumin in Mém. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat., B, Bot. 4: 61. 1953 syn. sec. Jebb & Cheek 1997

Description

Terrestrial, climbing or scrambling branched stems up to 8 m long.
The lamina is linear or oblong, up to 35 cm long and 8 cm wide. The apex of the leaf is obtuse or rounded and the base is attenuate, sometimes sub-petiolate, and variably decurrent. The lamina may be green, dark green or purple, but developing leaves may be bright orangey red as they emerge, gradually turning green as they age. The stem, midrib and tendril are green, yellow or occasionally orange or red. Most parts of mature plants may be densely lined with soft, short white hairs which may be branched or clustered. The morphology and colouration of both upper and lower pitchers is extremely variable (Jacques Besnard, pers. comm.).
The lower pitchers are up to 17 cm long and 6 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 very distinct hip, and becomes cylindrical or slightly infundibular towards the pitcher opening. Wings up to 18 mm wide, fingered with narrow filaments up to 7 mm long, run down the front of the pitcher. The wings are often broad and expanded at the bottom of the pitcher opening. The peristome is cylindrical, glossy, up to 5 mm wide and lined with ribs up to 0.3 mm high, spaced up to 0.4 mm apart, but these ribs may be indiscernible. The peristome is of a constant width around the pitcher opening, but may be slightly narrowed below the lid. Here, a gap of several millimetres is often present. The lid is sub-orbicular, occasionally ovate or elliptic, up to 5 cm long, 5 cm wide, and lacks an appendage.
The exterior of the lower pitchers is typically red, darkening to dark red, reddish brown, purple or almost black as the traps age. The interior of the pitcher may be white, cream coloured, pale pink, red or purple. The peristome may be yellow, green, orange, red, purple or black. The lid is the same colour as the exterior of the pitcher, occasionally with a bright red underside. The lower pitchers of young plants may be entirely yellowish green or orange.
The upper pitchers are up to 21 cm tall, 5 cm wide, and vary greatly in shape, size and relative proportions. They may be wholly infundibular, but also ovate and swollen in the bottom quarter to three quarters, abruptly narrowed to form a hip above, and cylindrical or infundibular towards the pitcher opening. Wings are reduced to narrow ridged, but are often hardly discernible. All other plants are similar to the lower pitchers.
The exterior of the upper pitchers is typically light yellowish green, but may be pink or pale orange. The interior of the trap is light yellow or occasionally light pink or orange, often mottled with faint red or pink blotches. The peristome is orange, pink or red and both sided of the lid are usually yellowish green. In some plants, the upper pitchers are entirely yellowish green.
The inflorescence is a raceme, to 35 cm long. The peduncle is up to 10 cm long and the rachis to 25 cm long. Flowers are borne singly on robust bractless pedicles up to 6 mm long. Tepals are oblong to sub-orbicular and up to 5 mm long. Fruits are 8-20 mm long, seed generally 9 mm long.A

Distribution (General)

New Caledonia and Île des Pins.A

Etymology

The specific epithet honours French plant collector, Eugène Vieillard, who travelled to New Caledonia in 1862 and was among the first naturalists to make detailed observation of this species.A

Habitat

Terrestrial; on the margins of pine forsest, in upland grassy meadows, among degraded or recovering secondary vegetation, in logged lowland forest, and also on bare substrate on exposed cliffsides, landslide areas and roadside embankments. Sea level to 850 m a.s.l. Lateritic substrate, developed on ultrabasic rock types. A

Bibliography

A. McPherson, S. R. 2009: Pitcher Plants of the Old World 2