Little Plant Shop of Horrors

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

In honour of our founder...

AKA: Nepenthes rafflesiana Jack

Origin: Native to Singapore too, actually...

Status: CITES II

Today, we welcome Lady Rafflesiana to our humble shop. Well, her and her two sisters, actually. Named in honour of our founder, Sir Stamford Raffles, this dear lady is the most beautiful of our native pitcher plants. In basic form and growth, most of that which was said about lil' Ampy holds true of her ladyship. However, as you can see here, her ladyship's form and pitchers differ quite drastically in appearance from Ampy's.

Unlike Ampy, her ladyship has two forms of pitchers, upper pitchers and lower pitchers. The one in the pic above is the latter. Sadly, her ladyship is not old enough to produce any uppers just yet, but you can expect to seem some upper pitcher pictures from her seniors. Still, the lower pitchers are the more beautiful of the pitchers, at least to me. She may not catch snails like Ampy can, but she does seem to kill way more ants.

Best obtained from: Nurseries. Lady Rafflesiana is by far the most easily obtained of any of the three native species. Many nurseries stock it, and it can sometimes be found in markets.

Cost: $6-20. Pretty fair, considering.

Singapore: Try Woon Leng Nursery in Chua Chu Kang. Its got lots. If not, one of the Nurseries in Upper Thompson Road sells tissue cultured ones for around $12, but they'll take years to reach my Lady's current size.

Hardiness: Tough, but Ampy is somewhat more hardy and less demanding about water and soil.

Growth Speed: Slower than Ampy

Basically, follow the instructions on raising Ampy to raise her ladyship. She can not take as much sun as Ampy can and she is a little more petty about water quality. Let's just say that she's not as happy with tap water as Ampy is.

Oh yes, her ladyship has some variants too, but I've not seen some of those in Singapore. There's an elongated variant and a giant variant, with pitchers three times the size of the normal ones. There's also a winged variant, with a nice frill where the tendrill connects to the pitcher. There is a green variant that I have seen locally though. Anyway, its getting late, so I'll tell the story of her ladyship another time. Look forward to it!


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