Nepenthes ampullaria - a vegetarian

Lower pitchers of N. ampullaria er ca. 10 x 7 cm with reflexed lid

     Nepenthes ampullaria is one of the most widespread species, and it is very variable in terms of  both the jug’s shape, size and color pattern. Many varieties have been described, and it hybridizes naturally with at least 10 other species. The plant forms a compact rosette, with the lower pitchers resting on the ground. The stem climbs up to 20 m to get enough light to flower, but only sets very few and small jugs. Lateral shoots from the basal rosette form new rosettes with pitchers, so that the pitchers thereby become carpet-forming. The species is particularly interesting in that a significant part of its nitrogen needs is covered by the breakdown of plant material that falls into the completely open jugs, and it is so far the only species that secretes the starch-degrading enzyme amylase.

H. S. Heide-Jørgensen, Dec. 2009. Translated Jan. 2024.