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Heliamphora

Heliamphora

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Heliamphora folliculata (Aparaman Tepui, Ven.)

Heliamphora folliculata

One of the most recognizable species of Heliamphora because of its large tubular pitchers and unusual spoon that contains a hallow chamber for storing nectar.

Found on top of the Los Testigos chain of tepuis at elevations of 1700-2400m, this Heliamphora braves the elements in the mutual shelter of dense scrub vegetation. It prefers permanently wet surfaces such as seepage sites and near waterfalls in sunny and exposed areas. The pitchers are long and tubular with a minimal narrowing at the waist where a drainage hole is present to regulate the water contained within. In cross section, the leaves are often kidney shaped. The unique concave spoon emerges directly from the back of the pitcher with the front extended over the pitcher opening, while a hallow chamber is present at the back and serves to store nectar. The color is golden yellow in young leaves suffusing to a uniform orange, pink, and red in mature ones.

The foliage is typically held at an acute angle up to 45 degrees and often rests on surrounding vegetation but plants have the same growth habit even when no such vegetation is present. It is believed that this is an adaptation to keep the center of the rosette exposed to sunlight and free of competing vegetation. In cultivation this means the plants need a good amount of room to spread horizontally and should not be kept too close to other specimen in the collection. Though folliculata is said to reach no more than 30cm in nature, that size can be easily attained by some clones in cultivation and plants do get much wider as they clump, making this species one of the most robust.

Easy to care for, vibrantly colored, and fast growing, this Heliamphora is great for beginners, though its growth habit means a good amount of room should be provided.

(Wistuba, A., P. Harbarth & T. Carow, 2001)

 

 

   
 
 
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