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Heliamphora

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Heliamphora purpurascens (Ptari Tepui)

Heliamphora purpurascens (Ptari Tepui)

Heliamphora purpurascens (Ptari Tepui)

Nice rosette of this much more red form of the species.

Fascinating species noted for having exceptionally big nectar spoons. Different looking and a steady grower! H. purpurascens was (like many other species in the genus) classified as H. heterodoxa until 2011 when it was elevated to specific status.

The habitat of this species is limited to the small summit of Ptari Tepui at elevetions of 2400-2450m. Unlike many other tepuis, this summit is extremely flat and there is no shelter from the elements. As a result vegetation is short and scant. Here, H. pupurascens grows in very wet boggy areas in what little peaty substrate can accumulate. The plants often form small hummocks of mixed tepui flora that rise above the surrounding water like little islands! Very cool!

Like H. elongata which grows in a similarly harsh environment, H. purpurascens forms tight rosettes of upright pitchers that are elongated above the waist. Few live pitchers are held at a time often surrounded by several dead ones. Water level is regulated by a drainage hole at the waist. The helmet shaped spoons have a wide triangular base and are proportionately very large (especially in relation to other members of the genus). They are typically bent sharply towards the front of the leaf. Pitchers are up to 25cm tall (typically a little less in cultivation) and have a curious somewhat woody substance.

This species poses no difficulties in cultivation and makes for an interesting addition to the collection with its oversized spoons.

(Wistuba, A. Fleischm., Nerz & S. McPherson, 2011)







 

 

   
 
 
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Heliamphora purpurascens (Ptari Tepui)

Nice rosette of this much more red form of the species.