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Heliamphora

Heliamphora

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Heliamphora elongata (Ilu Tepui)

Heliamphora spec. Ilu

Named for its graceful, elongated, slender pitchers, this Heliamphora is one of the most distinctive members of the genus and one of the most resilient!

It is known from the summits and slopes of Ilu, Tramen, and Karaurin Tepui where it grows at altitudes of 1800-2600m. The plant is widely distributed in this habitat and often forms dense populations. It tends to grow in crevices, gullies, and cracks in the otherwise barren, inhospitable landscape of the mountain tops, typically in plant communities comprised of many different species of tepui flora that provide mutual shelter from the wind, rain, cold, and solar radiation. In this stark landscape where at night temperatures can be near freezing, the plants seem to thrive. This said, elongata grows slowly and rarely holds more than a few live pitchers which are surrounded by many dead ones (perhaps this aids in protecting the living parts of the plant from the elements).

Pitchers can be up to 35cm in nature and can attain similar size in cultivation though typically only in very old specimen. The upper section of the pitchers is noticeably elongated compared to other species in the genus. Though almost always a bright vibrant red in the wild, in cultivation the plants tend to be a little greener. The spoons are always red, large, extending over the pitcher opening on a relatively flat plane, and with a pronounced triangular slit in the front. Though their shape can be somewhat variable, they can still be used to positively identify the species. Drainage hole is present in the mid-section.

Truly a remarkable species, Heliamphora elongata is generally recommended for advanced growers. Its slow growth rate and tendency to have different morphology at different points of its maturity make it a very interesting subject in the collection but one that requires patience and dedication.

(Nerz, J., 2004)



 

 

   
 
 
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