Saturday, November 4, 2017

Pitcher Plant Hybrids

For those who have been following my blog, you might have realised that it has not been updated for 4.5 years! Time is not something that I have the luxury of nowadays, especially when priorities and goals changed. But it has always been in my mind to come back someday. Both this blog and my plant identification website serves as a form of education in some form to a wider audience.

Kent Ridge Park to most is just a park, or to others, a part of the Southern Ridges, or, to bikers, one of their off-road cycling haven. However, it is home to a unique native form of forest called Adinandra belukar (I might blog more about this next time). Above is how it looks like, taken in the undergrowth.

Of course, as with the title, the aim is to search for a couple of pitcher plant hybrids which I have searched for in vain for awhile. Luckily, this time, I have the help of a knowledgeable pitcher plant researcher, who kindly agreed to show me.

Introducing Nepenthes x hookerana. This is a hybrid of Nepenthes rafflesiana and Nepenthes ampullaria. Such a beauty isn’t it! For those who have seen and known the native non-hybrid species, this hybrid pitcher looks totally different, being more slender and funnel like compared to rafflesiana.

This is another hybrid called Nepenthes x trichocarpa. It is a hybrid of Nepenthes gracilis and Nepenthes ampullaria. The pitchers are cute, stocky or plump in my opinion.

I was quite disturbed and dismayed when the researcher told me that he had seen evidence of people poaching the pitchers. I guess to some extent, humans always have a habit of wanting to possess things for themselves, like removing a piece of plant or animal from the environment and then growing it at their home. Personally, I gained more satisfaction seeing them in the wild, seeing them thriving in their habitat. I hope many of my readers feel the same way too.

Singapore, while small, have many natural places that will surprise many, I have no doubt on that. We need to cherish and appreciate them.


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