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Heliamphora nutans (Kukenan Tepui)

Heliamphora nutans (Kukenam Tepui)

Heliamphora nutans (Kukenam)

A true staple in Heliamphora culture, and still one of the handsomest plants in the genus. H. nutans was the first species of Heliamphora to be discovered in 1840 and is the generic type. In fact, it would take almost a century before discovering another species and proving the genus was not monotypic! The name refers to the nodding nature of the flowers, and so it’s commonly referred to as The Nodding Pitcher plant.

Though Robert Schomburgk found the type in a swampy area at the base of Mount Roraima (which he did not ascend) that population has never been relocated. It is believed a human caused wildfire that swept the area during a particularly dry season in 1926 has completely wiped out any low growing populations of the species. Today, the species is found between 2000-2700m on Meringma, Kukenan, and Yuruani Tepui, as well as Mount Roraima and Roraimita (Wei Assipu Tepui). The plants are most vigorous in mixed plant hummocks in well drained habitats where they form loose clumps up to 35cm across.

The pitchers of H. nutans are up to 18cm long and have a mid-height waist with a drainage hole. Their color is typically a blend of muted hues of orange, yellow green, and red suffusing red as they age. The spoon is always red, circular, comparatively small, and has a notch at the front.

Hybrids of H. nutans such as H. heterodoxa x nutans and H. glabra x nutans (aka H. nutans “Giant”) are among the easiest and fastest Heliamphora to grow, however, the true species is much slower. Still, this charming, compact, classic Heliamphora makes a lovely addition to the collection.

(Bentham, G., 1840)

Typical form from Kukenan Tepui

 

 

   
 
 
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