Fanged Pitcher-Plant

Nepenthes bicalcarata

''Nepenthes bicalcarata'' , also known as the Fanged Pitcher-Plant, is a tropical pitcher plant endemic to northwestern Borneo, Indonesia. It is a myrmecophyte noted for its mutualistic association with a species of ant, ''Camponotus schmitzi''. As an ant-fed plant it lacks many of the features that characterise the carnivorous syndrome in ''Nepenthes'', including viscoelastic and highly alkaline pitcher fluid, the waxy zone of the pitcher interior, and possibly even functional digestive enzymes.
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Fanged Pitcher Plant - Nepenthes bicalcarata, Upper Pitcher This is the Upper pitcher of Fanged Pitcher Plant - Nepenthes bicalcarata, the name is for obvious reasons for the 2 spines that looks like fangs, under the lid. Fanged Pitcher Plant,Geotagged,Lambir Hills,Malaysia,Nepenthes bicalcarata,Pitcher Plant,Sarawak,Summer

Appearance

''Nepenthes bicalcarata'' plants are the largest in the genus, climbing up to 20 m into the forest canopy. The cylindrical stem is thicker than that of any other ''Nepenthes'' species, measuring up to 3.5 cm in diameter. Internodes are up to 40 cm long.



The leaves of ''N. bicalcarata'' are petiolate and coriaceous in texture. The lamina is obovate-lanceolate in form and also reaches huge dimensions, growing to 80 cm in length and 12 cm in width. It is slightly decurrent on the stem, forming two narrow wings. The lamina has indistinct longitudinal veins and numerous pennate veins. Tendrils may be up to 60 cm long and 8 mm wide. They are hollow and swollen near the pitcher.



Although most parts of the plant are very large, the pitchers themselves do not rival those of species such as ''N. rajah''. Nevertheless, they may have a volume of over one litre and grow up to 25 cm high and 16 cm wide. A pair of prominent fringed wings runs down the front of lower pitchers. These are usually reduced to ribs in aerial pitchers. The peristome is characteristically flattened and curved inwards. The inner portion of the peristome accounts for around 70% of its total cross-sectional surface length. It bears small but distinct teeth. The two sharp spines for which the species is famous are present on the underside of the pitcher lid, and may be 3 cm long. They are derived from the uppermost 10–12 peristome ribs. The pitcher lid or operculum is reniform to cordate and has no appendages. An unbranched spur is inserted at the base of the lid.

''Nepenthes bicalcarata'' has a paniculate inflorescence. The peduncle may be up to 40 cm long and the rachis can reach 100 cm in length. Female inflorescences are usually shorter. Branches on the flower stem are up to 40 mm long and bear up to 15 flowers. Sepals are either obovate or lanceolate and up to 4 mm long. A study of 120 pollen samples taken from a herbarium specimen found the mean pollen diameter to be 28.9 μm .

Mature plants are virtually glabrous. Caducous hairs are present on the youngest parts of the plant and on the inflorescences.

''Nepenthes bicalcarata'' varies little across its range. Consequently, no infraspecific taxa have been described.
Fanged Pitcher Plant - Nepenthes bicalcarata This Fanged Pitcher Plant -  Nepenthes bicalcarata has 2 spines that looks like fangs under its lids. Brunei,Fanged Pitcher-Plant,Nepenthes,Nepenthes bicalcarata,Pitcher Plant,Plant

Status

''Nepenthes bicalcarata'' is endemic to Borneo. It is most common in the peat swamp forests of the western coast of the island, which stretch across Sarawak, Sabah, Kalimantan, and Brunei. There it often grows in the shade of the ubiquitous dipterocarp ''Shorea albida''. ''Nepenthes bicalcarata'' also occurs in ''kerangas'' forest and has even been recorded from white sand heath forests in Sarawak and East Kalimantan. The species is often sympatric with ''N. ampullaria'' in these habitats.

Specimens growing in undisturbed peat swamp forest, where sunlight is greatly diffused and high humidity prevails, reach the largest dimensions. ''Nepenthes bicalcarata'' has a shallow root system that only penetrates the top layer of peat and leaf litter, to a depth of about 25 cm. Below this, high concentrations of tannins and alkaloids render the substrate toxic.

''Nepenthes bicalcarata'' is generally found below 300 m in altitude, although Johannes Gottfried Hallier reported a single collection in 1894 from between 700 and 950 m above sea level.

The conservation status of ''N. bicalcarata'' is listed as Vulnerable on the 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species based on an assessment carried out in 2000. In 1997, Charles Clarke informally classified the species as Near Threatened based on the IUCN criteria. This agrees with the conservation status assigned to ''N. bicalcarata'' by the World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
Fanged Pitcher Plant - Nepenthes bicalcarata, Lower Pitcher The is the lower pitcher of the Fanged Pitcher Plant - Nepenthes bicalcarata found at the same place as previous Spotting.  I had originally thought they were 2 different species of Pitcher Plant but now realized they are both the same and  the shapes for Upper and Lower Pitchers are different. Geotagged,Lambir Hills,Malaysia,Nepenthes bicalcarata,Pitcher Plant,Sarawak,Summer

Habitat

''Nepenthes bicalcarata'' is endemic to Borneo. It is most common in the peat swamp forests of the western coast of the island, which stretch across Sarawak, Sabah, Kalimantan, and Brunei. There it often grows in the shade of the ubiquitous dipterocarp ''Shorea albida''. ''Nepenthes bicalcarata'' also occurs in ''kerangas'' forest and has even been recorded from white sand heath forests in Sarawak and East Kalimantan. The species is often sympatric with ''N. ampullaria'' in these habitats.

Specimens growing in undisturbed peat swamp forest, where sunlight is greatly diffused and high humidity prevails, reach the largest dimensions. ''Nepenthes bicalcarata'' has a shallow root system that only penetrates the top layer of peat and leaf litter, to a depth of about 25 cm. Below this, high concentrations of tannins and alkaloids render the substrate toxic.

''Nepenthes bicalcarata'' is generally found below 300 m in altitude, although Johannes Gottfried Hallier reported a single collection in 1894 from between 700 and 950 m above sea level.

The conservation status of ''N. bicalcarata'' is listed as Vulnerable on the 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species based on an assessment carried out in 2000. In 1997, Charles Clarke informally classified the species as Near Threatened based on the IUCN criteria. This agrees with the conservation status assigned to ''N. bicalcarata'' by the World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

Evolution

''Nepenthes bicalcarata'' was formally described by Joseph Dalton Hooker in his 1873 monograph, "Nepenthaceae", based on specimens collected by Hugh Low and Odoardo Beccari near the Lawas River in Borneo. The type specimen, ''Low s.n.'', is deposited at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Seven years later, Spencer Le Marchant Moore described ''Nepenthes dyak'', based on a specimen collected by Johannes Elias Teijsmann from Kapuas River near Sintang in western Borneo. This specimen is also held at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and a duplicate is deposited at the National Herbarium of the Netherlands in Leiden. ''Nepenthes dyak'' was later mentioned several more times in the botanical literature, but is now considered conspecific with ''N. bicalcarta''.

''Nepenthes bicalcarata'' was introduced to Europe in 1879 by British explorer Frederick William Burbidge, who collected plants for the famous Veitch Nursery. These were cultivated to larger size and distributed in 1881.

During this time, interest in ''Nepenthes'' had reached its peak. A note in ''The Gardeners' Chronicle'' of 1881 mentions the Veitch Nursery's ''N. bicalcarata'' as follows:

"Then there is ''N. bicalcarata'', a most robust habited kind with sturdy foliage and bag-like pitchers provided with a vicious-looking rat-trap-like apparatus in its lid which renders it very distinct from its neighbours."

Several years after its introduction, ''N. bicalcarata'' was still very much a horticultural rarity. In Veitch's catalogue for 1889, ''N. bicalcarata'' was priced at £3.3s per plant, while the famous giant-pitchered ''N. northiana'' and ''N. rajah'' were selling for £2.2s.

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Status: Vulnerable
EX EW CR EN VU NT LC
Taxonomy
KingdomPlantae
DivisionAngiosperms
ClassEudicots
OrderCaryophyllales
FamilyNepenthaceae
GenusNepenthes
SpeciesN. bicalcarata