? Nepenthes tentaculata

? Nepenthes tentaculata


? Nepenthes tentaculata Hook.f. in de Candolle, Prodr. 17: 101. 1873 sec. Cheek & Jebb 2001
    • Lectotype: Borneo, Sarawak, alt. 810 m, 1857, Lobb 83 (K)
  • =Nepenthes tentaculata var. imberbis Becc., Malesia 3: 13. 1886 syn. sec. Cheek & Jebb 2001
    • Type: Borneo, Sarawak, Kuching, Mt Matang, O. Beccari 2930 (FI)1
  • 1. n.v. for M. Cheek & M. Jebb, Flora Malesiana - Nepenthaceae, Series I, Volume 15. 2001
  • =Nepenthes tentaculata var. tomentosa Macfarl. in Engler, Pflanzenr. IV. 111 (Heft 36): 43. 1908 syn. sec. Cheek & Jebb 2001
    • Unknown type category: Borneo, Sabah, Kinabalu, F.W.T. Burbidge s.n. (K)

Other sources

Danser, B. H. 1928: – Bull. Jard. Bot. Buitenzorg, sér. 3, 9: 379
Clarke, C. M. 1997: Nepenthes of Borneo. – Kota Kinabalu: Natural History Publications: 129, f. 89 & 90
Jebb, M. H. P. & Cheek, M. R. 1997: A skeletal revision of Nepenthes. – Blumea 42(1): 1-106: 85
Kurata, S. 1976: Nepenthes of Mt Kinabalu, Sabah. – Sabah National Parks Trustees, Kota Kinabalu: 69
Phillipps, A. & Lamb, A.L. 1996: Pitcher Plants of Borneo: 138, f. 74
Adam, J. H. & Wilcock, C.C. 1998: – Sarawak Mus. J. 50: 75-77: 161


Terrestrial climber to 4 m tall, but often climbing only rarely and existing largely as gregarious rosettes c. 10 cm tall arising from creeping stems. Stems sharply to rounded 4-angular, (1.5-)2-3(-6) mm diam., internodes in rosette shoots c. 0.6 cm; climbing stems with internodes 2.5-4.5(-7) cm long, often with conical axillary buds 1.5 by 1.5 mm inserted 3-3.5 mm above the axil. Leaves chartaceous, sessile, those of rosettes and short stems elliptic-oblong or oblanceolate-oblong, 6-11 by 1.5-2 cm, apex acute often inconspicuously peltate, base amplexicaul, subperfoliate, shortly decurrent down the stem by 0.3-0.6 cm; leaves of climbing stems lanceolate, oblanceolate-spathulate or oblong, (4.5-)6-9(-17) by (1.5-)1.8-2.5(-2.8) cm, base perfoliate or subperfoliate, decurrent down the stem by (0.1-)1.5-1.8(-2.5) cm. Longitudinal nerves 2 (or 3) on each side of the midrib, usually in the outer third, prominent above and below. Pennate nerves sparse, patent, branching and anastomosing, inconspicuous. Lower pitchers ovoid or broadly subcylindrical, 4.5-10(-12) by 1.5-4.2 cm, with two fringed wings 2.5-4 mm wide, fringed elements filiform, 3-5 mm long, 1-1.5 mm apart; mouth concave, narrowly ovate-rhombic, peristome cylindrical, 0.75-1.5(-3) mm diam., ribs 0.1(-0.2) mm high, 0.25-0.5 mm apart, outer edge not sinuate, inner edge entire; column absent; lid ovate to elliptic-rhombic, 1.7-4 by 1-2 cm, apex rounded, base rounded or shallowly cordate, upper surface bearing up to 24 ‘tentacles’ i.e. thick multicellular simple hairs 3-5(-10) mm long as extensions of the nerves from the marginal 5 mm, lower surface lacking appendages, midrib pronounced as a low keel c. 0.1 mm high, nectar glands absent or sparse and inconspicuous, circular, bordered, 0.1-0.2 mm wide; spur a fascicle of 4-7 branches 5-10 mm long, each usually dichotomously branched about 1/3 the length from the apex. Upper pitchers cylindrical or with a narrowly ovoid base tapering gradually to a cylindrical apex, (5.5-)6.5-8.5(-13.5) by 1.5-2.2(-3) cm, usually with fringed wings 3.5-5 mm wide, fringed elements 3-5 mm long, 2.5-3 mm apart; mouth in the larger pitchers sinusoidal from the side view: the front and rear parts much more steeply sloping than at the middle. Male inflorescence patent, 5-12 (-14.5) by c. 0.7 cm; peduncle (0-)2-4.5 cm long, 0.75-1.5 mm wide at the base; partial peduncles 30-40(-50), 1-flowered; bracts absent; pedicels 2-3.5(-8) mm, often curved; tepals oblong, 1.75-3 by 1-1.5 mm, apex obtuse; androphore 0.5-1.5 (-2.5) mm long; anther head 0.5-1 by 0.75-1.5 mm. Infructescence 1-6(-11) by 4-5 cm; peduncle 1.2-4.2 cm long bearing 5-10 fruits; fruits with valves 20-32 by 4-6.5 mm. Seeds fusiform, 14-16 by 0.7-0.8 mm. Indumentum of sessile red glands on stems, lower leaf blade, outer pitcher, upper and lower lid, and peduncle; rhachis, pedicels and lower tepals moderately densely hairy with rusty or coppery appressed simple hairs c. 0.2 mm long; upper surface of lid with ‘tentacles’. Colour of stems purple to green, leaves glossy dark green, sometimes suffused with purple; pitchers usually brownish purple, sometimes flecked with dark purple; peristome pale green or purplish black; mouth waxy green or pale purple; lid as pitcher; inflorescence yellowish green.A


Nepenthes tentaculata is the most ubiquitous montane Nepenthes in Borneo, occurring on most mountains there. This diminutive species is recognised by the perfoliate-adnate leaves, the tentacles on the upper surface of the lid, the rhombic pitcher mouth and the fasciculate pitcher spur. These characters are all shared by a group of apparently related species in which the multicellular ‘tentacles’ and a fasciculate spur are conspicuous in the lower pitchers but absent in the upper pitchers, viz.: N. adnata, N. glabrata, N. hamata, N. muluensis, and N. murudensis.
In Sulawesi N. tentaculata can be distinguished from the extremely closely related N. hamata by the lack of dramatically large, falcate peristome ribs. The Sulawesi specimens of N. tentaculata tend to have longer, more lanceolate leaves. In addition the lids tend to be less frequently tentaculate, and the inflorescence is longer (17.5 cm vs. 13 cm). A robust variant of N. tentaculata which lacks lid tentacles occurs on ultramafic areas at Mt Kinabalu. More work is needed to elucidate whether these plants warrant specific status.
Hooker’s protologue cites both a Lobb and Beccari specimen from Sarawak. The former, Lobb 83 was collected at 2700 ft in Sarawak, matching the altitude range (2500-3000 ft) given by Hooker in the protologue and for that reason was elected as lectotype.A
Belongs to Nepenthes sect. Tentaculatae Cheek & JebbB

Distribution (General)

Borneo, Sulawesi.A


Moss forest, often in Sphagnum beds or on peaty soils (but also on sand and ultramafic substrates); (800-)1200-2100(-2550) 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
B. Cheek, M. R. & Jebb, M. H. P. 2016: A new section in Nepenthes (Nepenthaceae) and a new species from Sulawesi. – Blumea 61: 59-62


CountryDateCollector + collecting numberHerbariaTypeScanDerivatives
Burbidge, F. W. T. s.n.K
Citation: Borneo, Sabah, Kinabalu, F.W.T. Burbidge s.n.

Specimen summary: K
Unknown type category of Nepenthes tentaculata var. tomentosa Macfarl.

Beccari, O. 2930FI
Citation: Borneo, Sarawak, Kuching, Mt Matang, O. Beccari 2930

Specimen summary: FI
Type for: Nepenthes tentaculata var. imberbis Becc.

1857Lobb 83K
Citation: Borneo, Sarawak, alt. 810 m, 1857, Lobb 83

Specimen summary: K
Lectotype of Nepenthes tentaculata Hook.f.