Sunday, August 16, 2009

In Search Of The Pitcher Plant...

I read recently of news of a rare species of giant pitcher plant ( Nepenthes attenbouroughii)discovered only in the last year by Christian missionaries in the highlands of Palawan in the Philippines. The new species was named for the famous British naturalist, Sir David Attenbourough. The scientists found species of pink ferns and blue mushrooms never been seen before. These pitcher plants habitat is about 1,600 meters living in the damp mists of the mountains of Palawan near Queen Victoria peak. These plants have evolved, and actually have developed carnivorous tendencies. These pitcher plants even trap and digest rats! Stewart McPherson, a botanist hurried to the Philippines to get samples and document this rare plant that was large enough to entice a mouse or rat into its pitcher,and the animal drowns and is slowly digested by the plant.

Sunday, August 16, 2009. I asked Betty Samson to come with me to the Manila Seedling Bank to get a more common pitcher plant, and to photograph some of the interesting shops at this large plant "supermarket" located in Quezon City the capital of the Philippines.

This photo of the common Philippine pitcher plant is found in bogs, swamps, and wetland areas.

The pitcher plant thrives during the typhoon season because it has a structure in its leaves that forms a pitcher which fills up with water. Insects get trapped inside the pitcher plant receptacle. Small reptiles that climb in to eat the insects also get trapped in its pouch. The plant then slowly digests the rotting carcass.

Creepy but very intriguing plant.