Nepenthes mantalingajanensis

Nepenthes mantalingajanensis


Nepenthes mantalingajanensis Nerz & Wistuba in Taublatt 59(3): 17 (-25; photos). 2007 [The specific epithet refers to Palawan's highest pead, Mount Mantalingahan (also spelt Mantalingajan), the type locality of the species.B]. sec. Nerz & Wistuba 2007


    Compact rosette or short, rigid, upright stem 30 or less - 60 cm tall.
    The lamina is broadly lanceolate, up to 20 cm long and 6 cm wide. The apex of the leaf is acute or obtuse, rarely sub-peltate, the tendril emerging from the leaf up to 4 mm from the apex, and the base is attenuate, sub-petiolate to petiolate, and amplexicaul. Where present, the petiole is broad, up to 7 cm long, and canaliculate. The lamina is green and the stem and midrib are yellowish or light green. The tendril may be green, yellow, orange or red, is up to 30 cm, and may be slightly flattened in the upper surface towards the leaf. The leaves, tendrils and pitchers are predominantly glabrous, although brown, velveteen hairs may cover the spur (Alastair Robinson, pers. observ.).
    The lower pitchers are up to 15 cm tall and 6.5 cm wide and are generally ovate or amphora shaped. Occasionally, particularly when buried in litter, the lower pitchers may be globose, or tub shaped, and up to 12 cm wide. The width of the pitcher often narrows very slightly, just below the peristome. Wings up to 8 mm wide, fringed with filaments up to 5 mm long run down the front of the pitcher, but these may be partly expressed or reduced entirely to narrow ridges. The peristome is loosely cylindrical and broad, up to 2 cm wide, and is expanded towards the sides and back of the pitcher opening. The peristome is lined with ribs up to 2 mm high, spaced up to 3 mm apart. The ribs are elongated on the inner edge of the peristome and form very narrow, incurved, needle-like teeth up to 5 mm long. The peristome is raised into a broad column at the rear of the pitcher opening, immediately below the lid. Here, the prominent teeth are arranged in two parallel rows that often diverge at the base of the lid to form a V-shaped gap, reminiscent of N. diatas and N. villosa. The outer margin of the peristome is recurved and the inner margin extends into the pitcher opening for several millimetres, particularly below the lid. The lid is cordate with a rounded or pointed apex, up to 5 cm long by 4 cm wide, and lacks an appendage. The spur is narrow, branching occasionally, and up to 8 mm long.
    The exterior of the lower pitchers is usually yellowish green or orange, but may be flushed red or brown, sometimes mottled with faint, red flecks. The interior of the pitcher is yellow or orange, often mottled with dark red, purple or brown blotches. The peristome may be yellow, orange, red or dark reddish-purple, often striped with bands of orange and red. The lid is usually pure yellow or orange, but is sometimes marked on both sides with red blotches and flecks. Occasionally, all parts of the pitcher may be pure yellow.
    During my three days of observations of this species on Mount Mantalingahan, a study that took in hundreds of plants in three distinct habitat types, I was unable to observe a single N. mantalingajanensis with a climbing stem or upper pitchers. The original collection at Kew, specimen G. C. G. Argent & E. M. Romero 92114, also lacks upper pitchers, and it seems likely that upper pitchers are produced very rarely, or hardly at all; consequently it is not possible to present a description of them here. I observed that the pitchers of large, mature plants often tended to be narrower towards the base than those of juvenile plants, but in all of the N. mantalingajanensis plants observed, the tendril was attached to the front of the pitcher and matched the description of the lower pitchers presented above. It is likely that climbing stems and upper pitchers are produced, as suggested in the type description, but only very occasionally and probably by plants growing amidst tall vegetation or in dense shade, as observed in the related N. deniana and N. mira. This tendency to produce only lower pitchers suits the growing habit of this species, since the majority of N. mantalingajanensis plants grow amidst the short, scrubby, windswept vegetation of the summit ridge amongst rocks.
    As the type description is based on cultivated material, field observations of the inflorescences are presented here for the sake of completeness (Alastair Robinson, pers. observ.). The inflorescence is a raceme, to 35 cm long by 3 cm at the widest point. The peduncle is up to 25 cm long and 5-8 mm in diameter at the base, the rachis to 16 cm long but considerably shorter in the female. Flowers are borne singly on pedicels up to 14 mm long, occasionally with a 1mm bract towards the base. Tepals are orbicular to ovate in the male, ovate-elliptic in the female, to 4 mm long, and the anther head is borne on a column up to 3 mm long. Fruits are up to 18 mm long and seed up to 6 mm long. The male flowers open yellow, maturing to dark red, thus the scape may be colour graduated from dark red below to yellow at the apex. A faint, sweet fragrance may be produced by the male inflorescence. A

    Distribution (General)

    Philippines, Palawan, Mount MantalingajanA


    Stunted upper montane forest and scrub, common on open slopes, usually in direct sunlight; 1700 - 2085 m.A


    A. McPherson, S. R. 2009: Pitcher Plants of the Old World 2. – Poole: Redfern Natural History Productions