Nepenthes distillatoria

Nepenthes distillatoria


Nepenthes distillatoria L., Sp. Pl.: 955. 1753 sec. Jebb & Cheek 1997 wfo-0000381942
    • =Nepenthes indica Poir., Encycl. 4(2): 458. 1798 syn. sec. Jebb & Cheek 1997 wfo-0000382006
    • =Bandura zeylanica Burm. ex Brongn. in Ann. Sci. Nat. 1: 43. 1824 syn. sec. Jebb & Cheek 1997 wfo-0001302502
    • Nepenthes zeylanica (Brongn.) Raf., Fl. Tellur. 4: 101. 1838 syn. sec. Jebb & Cheek 1997 wfo-0000382036
    • =Nepenthes hirsuta var. glabrescens W.G. Sm. in Gard. Chron. n.s. 17: 398, fig. 59. 1882, syn. sec. Jebb & Cheek 1997 wfo-0001302562
    • Nepenthes smithii Beck in Wiener Ill. Gart.-Zeitung 20: 188. 1895 syn. sec. Jebb & Cheek 1997 wfo-0000382022
    • =Nepenthes rubra G.Nicholson, Ill. Dict. Gard. 2: 439. 1886 syn. sec. Jebb & Cheek 1997 wfo-0001302683
    • Nepenthes zeylanica var. rubra Hort. ex Beck in Wiener Ill. Gart.-Zeitung 20: 226. 1895 syn. sec. Jebb & Cheek 1997 wfo-0001302655
    • Nepenthes zeylanica var. rubra (G.Nicholson) Macfarl. in Engler, Pflanzenr. IV. 111 (Heft 36): 37. 1908 syn. sec. Jebb & Cheek 1997 wfo-0001302654
    • =Nepenthes speciosa Hort. ex Beck in Wiener Ill. Gart.-Zeitung 20: 226. 1895 syn. sec. Jebb & Cheek 1997 wfo-0000382020
    • =Nepenthes chapmanii N.P.Balakr. in J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 67: 65. 1970 syn. sec. Jebb & Cheek 1997 wfo-0000381941


    Terrestrial branched stems up to 9 m long, scambling and climbing on surrounding vegetation.
    The lamina is linear, elliptic or narrowly oblong, up to 30 cm long and 6 cm wide. The apex of the leaf is acute or obtuse and the base is attenuate and sub-petiolate or petiolate. The petiole is winged, up to 8 cm long by 2 cm wide, clasps the stem and may become slightly decurrent. The stem, midrib and tendril may be green, yellow, orange or red, especially in direct sunlight, and the lamina is green. Some short uniseriate hairs are found on the young parts of the inflorescence, small pitchers and tendrils. Hairs near the transition between tendril and lamina may be clustered, branched and up to 0.4 mm long (Eric Schlosser, pers. comm.).
    The lower pitchers are up to 14 cm tall and 5 cm wide. The bottom third to half of the trap is ovate and usually swollen, sometimes becoming nearly spherical. The pitcher narrows above this part and becomes cylindrical towards the pitcher opening. Wings up to 22 mm wide run down the front of the pitcher and are often incurved towards one another. The wings may be fringed with narrow filaments up to 18 mm long, but such filaments are often entirely absent. The peristome is of a constant width, up to 5 mm wide, and is lined with fine ribs up to 0.5 mm high, spaced up to 0.3 mm apart. These ribs may be indiscernible. A gap of a few millimetres is often present in the peristome, below the lid. The lid is elliptic or sub-orbicular, often with a cordate base, up to 4.5 cm long by 5 cm wide, and lacks an appendage. The spur is unbranched and up to 6 mm long. The density of the tiny nectar glands underneath the lid is very high (usually in excess of 1,000 glands in total). The highest density of nectar glands occurs around the periphery of the underside of the lid, where density is between 500-800 cm². The glands are very small and hard to see especially near the rim of the lid. The density of the digestive glands is also very high compared to the other western outlying Nepenthes species, and ranges from 1000-1200 cm², Schmid-Hollinger (1979).
    The exterior of the lower pitchers is usually yellow-green, but may have an orange or red hue, sometimes mottled with dull red blotches. The interior of the trap is white, cream coloured, yellowish green or pink, and the peristome is entirely yellow, pale orange or red. The lid is the same colour as the pitcher exterior.
    The upper pitchers are up to 18 cm tall and 4 cm wide. The bottom fifth to quarter of the pitcher is infundibular and variably swollen. The pitcher narrows above this part, often forming a faint hip, and becomes cylindrical towards the pitcher opening. The pitcher also often narrows immediately below the peristome. The wings are reduced to narrow ridges, but may be indiscernible. All other parts are similar to the lower pitchers.
    The exterior of the upper pitchers is pale yellow, yellowish green or occasionally orange suffused with red. The pitcher interior and peristome are light yellow. The lid is the same colour as the exterior of the pitcher, but often has a bright red underside.
    Insufficient observations of N. distillatoria have been made to fully document the structure of inflorescences. The inflorescence is a racemose panicle, with widely spaced 3- to 5-flowered partial peduncles. Further studies of the floral parts of this species are required.A

    Distribution (General)

    Sri Lanka.B


    Waterlogged open scrub, road embankments and other cleared areas, also in forest; from sea level to 700 m.B


    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