Nepenthes khasiana

Nepenthes khasiana


Nepenthes khasiana Hook.f. in de Candolle, Prodr. 17: 102. 1873 [The specific epithet refers to the Khasi Hills region of Meghaloya State in Northern India, to which this species is endemic.C]. sec. Jebb & Cheek 1997
    • Type (designated by Jebb, M. H. P. & Cheek, M. R. 19971): Wallich 2244 (lecto, K-W; iso K-W x 4), India, Jyntea Mts.
  • 1. Jebb, M. H. P. & Cheek, M. R. 1997: A skeletal revision of Nepenthes. – Blumea 42(1): 1-106
  • =Nepenthes rubra Hort. ex Rafarin in Rev. Hort. [Paris] 1869: 270. 1869 syn. sec. Jebb & Cheek 1997


Terrestrially scrambling and climbing branched stems up to 12 m long.
The lamina is linear, elliptic or narrowly oblong, up to 46 cm long and 10 cm wide. The apex of the leaf is acute or obtuse and the base is attenuate and sub-petiolate to petiolate. The petiole is winged, up to 13 cm long and 2.5 cm wide, and clasps the stem, often becoming strongly decurrent. The stem, midrib and tendril may be green, yellow, orange or red, especially in direct sunlight. The upper surface of the lamina is often dark green, whilst the lower surface is very pale.
A thin indumentum is found mainly on the midrib and veins on the underside of the lamina, the tendril, and the developing pitchers. Some hairs may also be found along the edges of the lamina. The hairs on seedling pitchers are long and uniseriate. Hairs on the inflorescence are up to 0.3 mm long and usually have basal branches. Simple to strongly branched hairs may be found on older parts of the plants. Nepenthes khasiana differs thus from the western outlying Nepenthes of Madagascar, the Seychelles, and Sri Lanka which usually only bear uniseriate hairs (Eric Schlosser, pers. comm.).
The lower pitchers are up to 12 cm tall and 4.5 cm wide. The bottom third to half of the trap is ovate and slightly swollen. The pitcher narrows above this part and becomes cylindrical towards the pitcher opening. Wings up to 1.2 cm wide run down the front of the pitcher and may be lined with narrow filaments up to 5 mm long, though such filaments are often lacking. The peristome is cylindrical, up to 5 mm wide, and of a constant width around the pitcher opening. The peristome is glossy, lined with fine ribs up to 0.5 mm high, spaced up to 0.5 mm apart, but the ribs themselves are often hardly discernible. A gap of a few millimetres is often present in the peristome at the rear of the pitcher opening, 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 exterior of the lower pitchers is yellowish green or occasionally orangey pink, sometimes mottled with faint red or orange blotches. The interior of the pitcher is yellow, orange or pink and the peristome may be yellow, green, orange, pink or red. The lid is the same colour as the exterior of the pitcher, but often has a red underside. Some plants produce pitchers with a faint orange or reddish band a few millimetres wide on the outside of the pitcher, just below the peristome.
The upper pitchers are up to 21 cm tall and 5 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 slightly immediately below the peristome. Wings are reduced to narrow ridges that run down the flattened front face of the upper pitchers, and may be hardly discernible.
All other parts are similar to the lower pitchers, including colouration, although the complete underside of the lid is often suffused pure red. A reddish band a few millimetres wide, on the outside of the pitcher just below the peristome may be expressed, and often is lined with short hairs.A


The Wallich collection at Kew contains 8 sheets of No. 2244. Three of these consist of N. gracilis, of which 2 have mixtures of N. albomarginata, while 5 comprise N. khasiana from the Jyntea mountains. One of these latter has been annotated as the lectotype for the species.
This species is remarkable for its geographical remoteness from the remainder of the genus.B


Critically Endangered (CITES App. I)A

Distribution (General)

India, Bengal: Jyntea and Khasia MountainsB


Forest margins; 1000 m altitude.B Between 500 and 1500 m a.s.l.A


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


CountryDateCollector + collecting numberHerbariaTypeScanDerivatives
Wallich 2244 (lecto, K-W; iso K-W x 4), India, Jyntea Mts.
Citation: Wallich 2244 (lecto, K-W; iso K-W x 4), India, Jyntea Mts.