Burbidge's Pitcher-Plant

Nepenthes burbidgeae

''Nepenthes burbidgeae'' /nᵻˈpɛnθiːz bərˈbɪdʒi.aɪ/, also known as the painted pitcher plant or Burbidge's Pitcher-Plant, is a tropical pitcher plant with a patchy distribution around Mount Kinabalu and neighbouring Mount Tambuyukon in Sabah, Borneo.
Burbidge's Pitcher-Plant (Nepenthes burbidgeae) Mount Kinabalu, Borneo. Aug 2, 2008. Burbidge's Pitcher-Plant,Geotagged,Malaysia,Nepenthes burbidgeae,Summer

Appearance

''Nepenthes burbidgeae'' is a strong climber that quickly enters the vining stage. The stem reaches 15 m in length and is up to 18 mm in diameter. Internodes are cylindrical to triangular in cross section and up to 12 cm long.

The leaves of this species are coriaceous and petiolate. The lamina or leaf blade is oblong in shape and up to 40 cm long by 10 cm wide. It has an acute apex and its base is typically abruptly attenuate. The petiole is winged, up to 15 cm long, and clasps the stem. It is often decurrent into two narrow wings that extend down the stem. Three to four longitudinal veins are present on either side of the midrib. Pinnate veins are inconspicuous. Tendrils are up to 30 cm long.

Rosette and lower pitchers are rounded-infundibular or conical in shape. Unlike the pitchers of many other ''Nepenthes'' species, those of ''N. burbidgeae'' have no obvious constriction in the middle. The lower pitchers are relatively large, being up to 25 cm high by 10 cm wide. A pair of fringed wings, measuring up to 10 mm in width, runs down the front of each pitcher. The glandular region, which bears minute overarched glands, covers the basal half of the pitcher's inner surface. The pitcher mouth is round and elongated into a short neck at the rear. The peristome is flattened and expanded, measuring up to 30 mm in width. Its inner margin is lined with a series of small but distinct teeth. The inner portion of the peristome accounts for around 49% of its total cross-sectional surface length. The pitcher lid or operculum is ovate and up to 8 cm wide. It bears a distinct keel as well as a characteristic hooked appendage on its lower surface. An unbranched spur is inserted near the base of the lid.



Upper pitchers are similar to their terrestrial counterparts in most respects, even retaining the same colouration. However, they are smaller, reaching only 13 cm in height and 7 cm in width. They are infundibular in the basal third and globose above. In aerial pitchers, a pair of ribs is present in place of wings.

''Nepenthes burbidgeae'' has a racemose inflorescence. The peduncle is up to 25 cm long, while the rachis reaches 30 cm in length. Partial peduncles may be one- or two-flowered and are up to 15 mm long. Sepals are ovate and up to 5 mm long.

Most parts of the plant are covered in a sparse indumentum of short hairs. The margins of the lamina are lined with brown hairs up to 3 mm long.

''Nepenthes burbidgeae'' has a very restricted range and exhibits relatively little variability. As such, no infraspecific taxa have been described.
Burbidge's Pitcher Plant/Monkey Cup Seen in Mount Kinabalu Botanical Garden, Sabah, Borneo (2015).
Pitcher plants are carnivorous plants which trap animals as food. They have modified leaves known as pitfall traps, a prey-trapping mechanism featuring a deep cavity filled with digestive fluid liquid. It is a strong climber that quickly enters the vining stage. N. burbidgeae is endemic to the area of Mount Kinabalu. Fall,Geotagged,Malaysia,Nepenthes burbidgeae

Naming

''Nepenthes burbidgeae'' is easily distinguished from other species in the genus on the basis of its pitcher shape and colouration, as well as the hook-shaped appendage on the underside of the lid. The only other Bornean ''Nepenthes'' species with a similarly developed appendage are ''N. chaniana'' and ''N. pilosa''.

B. H. Danser suggested that ''N. burbidgeae'' is most closely related to ''N. pilosa''. The latter species is poorly known and was for a long time confused with ''N. chaniana''.

The glandular crest of ''N. chaniana'' is very similar to that of ''N. burbidgeae'', particularly in upper pitchers. However, it is difficult to confuse these species as the pitchers are otherwise markedly different in structure; the upper pitchers of ''N. burbidgeae'' are short and funnel-shaped, whereas those of ''N. chaniana'' are elongated and have a dense indumentum of white hair.

Distribution

''Nepenthes burbidgeae'' is endemic to Kinabalu National Park, where it has a patchy distribution around Mount Kinabalu and neighbouring Mount Tambuyukon. Specifically, it has been recorded from the Marai Parai plateau, Mamut copper mine, and Pig Hill. On Pig Hill, it grows at 1900–1950 m and is sympatric with ''N. rajah'', ''N. tentaculata'', and the natural hybrid ''N. × alisaputrana''. The altitudinal range of this species is often quoted as 1200–1800 m above sea level, but some sources give a lower limit of 1100 m and upper limit of 2250 m or even 2300 m.

Mount Kinabalu was only formed around 1 million years ago and, during the last ice age , it had an ice cap on its summit. As such, it appears that ''N. burbidgeae'' is a relatively recent species in evolutionary terms.



''Nepenthes burbidgeae'' is probably the rarest of the ''Nepenthes'' species native to Mount Kinabalu. Its typical habitat consists of mossy forest or montane forest, where it often grows in low scrub and exposed areas on the tops of steep ridges. The species is restricted to ultramafic soils. In more exposed areas, ''N. burbidgeae'' is often found climbing amongst bushes of ''Leptospermum javanicum''. At some localities it has also been recorded from bamboo forest.

''Nepenthes burbidgeae'' can often be found growing amongst populations of ''N. edwardsiana'', ''N. rajah'', and ''N. tentaculata'', and hybrids with all of these species have been recorded.

Status

The El Niño climatic phenomenon of 1997 to 1998 had a catastrophic effect on the ''Nepenthes'' species of Mount Kinabalu. The dry period that followed severely depleted some natural populations. Forest fires broke out in 9 locations in Kinabalu Park, covering a total area of 25 square kilometres and generating large amounts of smog. Hugo Steiner recalls being struck by the scarcity of ''N. burbidgeae'' pitchers observed on Mount Kinabalu during a trip in 1999. At the time of the El Niño, many plants were temporarily transferred to the park nursery. These were later replanted in the "''Nepenthes'' Garden" in Mesilau. Since then, Ansow Gunsalam has established a nursery close to the Mesilau Lodge at the base of Kinabalu Park to protect the endangered species of that area, including ''N. burbidgeae''.

The conservation status of ''N. burbidgeae'' is listed as Endangered on the 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species based on an assessment carried out in 2000. This does not agree with an informal assessment made by Charles Clarke in 1997, who classified the species as Vulnerable based on the IUCN criteria. However, Clarke noted that since all known populations of ''N. burbidgeae'' lie within the boundaries of Kinabalu National Park and are inaccessible to collectors, they "are unlikely to become threatened in the foreseeable future". Taking this into account, he suggested a revised assessment of Conservation Dependent.

Habitat

''Nepenthes burbidgeae'' is endemic to Kinabalu National Park, where it has a patchy distribution around Mount Kinabalu and neighbouring Mount Tambuyukon. Specifically, it has been recorded from the Marai Parai plateau, Mamut copper mine, and Pig Hill. On Pig Hill, it grows at 1900–1950 m and is sympatric with ''N. rajah'', ''N. tentaculata'', and the natural hybrid ''N. × alisaputrana''. The altitudinal range of this species is often quoted as 1200–1800 m above sea level, but some sources give a lower limit of 1100 m and upper limit of 2250 m or even 2300 m.

Mount Kinabalu was only formed around 1 million years ago and, during the last ice age , it had an ice cap on its summit. As such, it appears that ''N. burbidgeae'' is a relatively recent species in evolutionary terms.



''Nepenthes burbidgeae'' is probably the rarest of the ''Nepenthes'' species native to Mount Kinabalu. Its typical habitat consists of mossy forest or montane forest, where it often grows in low scrub and exposed areas on the tops of steep ridges. The species is restricted to ultramafic soils. In more exposed areas, ''N. burbidgeae'' is often found climbing amongst bushes of ''Leptospermum javanicum''. At some localities it has also been recorded from bamboo forest.

''Nepenthes burbidgeae'' can often be found growing amongst populations of ''N. edwardsiana'', ''N. rajah'', and ''N. tentaculata'', and hybrids with all of these species have been recorded.

Predators

The El Niño climatic phenomenon of 1997 to 1998 had a catastrophic effect on the ''Nepenthes'' species of Mount Kinabalu. The dry period that followed severely depleted some natural populations. Forest fires broke out in 9 locations in Kinabalu Park, covering a total area of 25 square kilometres and generating large amounts of smog. Hugo Steiner recalls being struck by the scarcity of ''N. burbidgeae'' pitchers observed on Mount Kinabalu during a trip in 1999. At the time of the El Niño, many plants were temporarily transferred to the park nursery. These were later replanted in the "''Nepenthes'' Garden" in Mesilau. Since then, Ansow Gunsalam has established a nursery close to the Mesilau Lodge at the base of Kinabalu Park to protect the endangered species of that area, including ''N. burbidgeae''.

The conservation status of ''N. burbidgeae'' is listed as Endangered on the 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species based on an assessment carried out in 2000. This does not agree with an informal assessment made by Charles Clarke in 1997, who classified the species as Vulnerable based on the IUCN criteria. However, Clarke noted that since all known populations of ''N. burbidgeae'' lie within the boundaries of Kinabalu National Park and are inaccessible to collectors, they "are unlikely to become threatened in the foreseeable future". Taking this into account, he suggested a revised assessment of Conservation Dependent.

Evolution

''Nepenthes burbidgeae'' was discovered on Mount Kinabalu in 1858 by Hugh Low and Spenser St. John. St. John wrote the following account of finding the species near the Marai Parai plateau:

Crossing the Hobang, a steep climb led us to the western spur, along which our path lay; here, at about 4000 ft [1200 m], Mr. Low found a beautiful white and spotted pitcher-plant which he considered the prettiest of the twenty-two species of ''Nepenthes'' with which he was then acquainted; the pitchers are white and covered in a most beautiful manner with spots of an irregular form, of a rosy pink colour.

Frederick William Burbidge was one of the first to collect the plant in 1878, although he did not succeed in introducing it into cultivation. The type specimen of ''N. burbidgeae'', ''Burbidge s.n.'', was collected on the Marai Parai plateau of Mount Kinabalu and is deposited at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. A duplicate specimen is held at the New York Botanical Garden.

''Nepenthes burbidgeae'' appeared as an unnamed species in Burbidge's 1880 book ''The Gardens of the Sun''. Joseph Dalton Hooker named ''N. burbidgeae'' after Burbidge's wife, though the name only appeared in an unpublished manuscript. The specific epithet is attributed to Burbidge as he used it in a letter to ''The Gardeners' Chronicle'' in 1882. It reads:

Nepenthes Burbidgeae, Hook. f. ''MSS.'', is a lovely thing, as yet unintroduced : pitchers pure white, semi-translucent like egg-shell, porcelain-white, with crimson or blood-tinted blotches. Lid blotched and dotted with crimson-purple. It is a very distinct plant, with triangular stems, 50 feet long, and the margins of the leaves decurrent.

In 1894, Otto Stapf identified specimens belonging to ''N. burbidgeae'' as ''N. phyllamphora'', a taxon that is now considered synonymous with ''N. mirabilis''.

In two articles authored by Burbidge in 1894 and 1896, the name of this species was written as ''N. burbidgei''. This name is considered a ''sphalma typographicum'' of ''N. burbidgeae'', although it appeared in a number of other works by authors such as Odoardo Beccari , John Muirhead Macfarlane , and Elmer Drew Merrill . Herbarium material also bears this spelling of the name.

Seventy years after its discovery, ''N. burbidgeae'' remained a poorly known species. This is reflected in the writing of B. H. Danser in his seminal 1928 monograph, "The Nepenthaceae of the Netherlands Indies", where he suggests a close relative in ''N. pilosa'':

This species has only been found twice on Mt. Kinabalu and is very insufficiently known. I have not ventured to unite it with any other. ''N. pilosa'', though doubtless the most nearly related species, is certainly different.

In 1981, Australian botanist Allen Lowrie reported that the fluid in unopened pitchers of ''N. burbidgeae'' is effective in stopping external bleeding. Lowrie cited two examples of researchers in the field successfully using this fluid on cuts and wounds.

References:

Some text fragments are auto parsed from Wikipedia.

Status: Endangered
EX EW CR EN VU NT LC
Taxonomy
KingdomPlantae
DivisionAngiosperms
ClassEudicots
OrderCaryophyllales
FamilyNepenthaceae
GenusNepenthes
SpeciesN. burbidgeae
Photographed in
Malaysia