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Sockhom

Nepenthes bokorensis (N.sp. Cambodia / N. "Bokor")

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Hello :D .

Well, i would like to share some informations - pictures and comments - about this nice species. This will be helpful for the happy fews who will end up with some seeds.

It's a shame Indochina Nepenthes are ignored by most of the taxonomists and i hope by posting such pictures, interest will raise among growers, hobbyists and why not ...taxonomists?

Cambodia is a wounded country as, i hope, most of you know. The kingdom is filled with landmines and this was my sole anxiety. I had to talk MUCH with locals and authorities before wandering in some areas.

Fortunately, i speak the language.

After visiting many places ( i missed the most interesting, though), i stumbled across an interesting location at 900-1100 m).

Here is the road. This is a national park and i was surrounded by jungle (where tigers and pythons live :D:D ).

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Day temperature are warm (20-22°C) . After my journey in lowland Phnom Penh, it was a relief! The humidity level was very high. The open habitat mostly include ferns, bushes, sandy bogs and large flat stones.

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After a few hours of trekking amond the Dicranopteris linearis -the resam fern-, my joy was immense to find my first highland / intermediate Nepenthes. I thought it was Nepenthes smilesii but it is definitely not.

No, it is not a machette in my bag :lol: .

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Here are some pictures of the aerial pitchers:

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For those who like taxonomy (like me :D ), you will find in the following pictures some details of the pitchers:

- Lid:

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-Peristome:

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- under the lid. A very colorful spot with lots of glands, mainly located in the center:

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Ants love this orange place. I found plenty of them in the digestive fluid. They seem to be the main preys of those pitcher plants.

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I managed to find some racemes:

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and some seed pods (you already know that :D ):

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Edited by Sockhom

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Great pics, thanks. :)

The lid looks just like an apple. :)

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Allow me to go on...

Lower pitchers were hard to find, sometimes embedded in moss or in the surrouding vegetation:

I had to shout on snakes, spiders and centipedes before handling those crimson things! :D

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This a lower-intermediate pitcher. The peristome is not fully folded yet. You can compare it with the upper.

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I found many young plants. It was not always easy to not walk on them! As you see, this plant is close to the plants spread in collections as "thorelii". (Note: most of the Nepenthes thorelii in culture turn out to be Nepenthes smilesii. For more informations, see Marcello Catalano site: http://www.nepenthesofthailand.com/).

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A mature lower shot with the underneath of the impressive lid:

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Lastly, some shots of the whole plants: some were climbing as high as 7/8 metres whereas others were scramblers and grow on rocks! :D

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Of course, it was a truly intense experience. But still quite pale in comparison to my encounter with the khmer culture...

I hope you liked this field report :lol:

Friendly,

François Mey.

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Yes thats a great field report lots of great photos thanx for that

bye for now Julian

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Very nice Sockom!

First time I saw some pics of Cambodian Nepenthes! Thanks :huh:

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Thanks for the kind words :wink: .

I will be even happier when the seeds germinate and the plant spread in collections!

François.

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good reports with a nice snapshot. at the frist week of October I'll go there. it's nice if I can see nepenthes in the wild in cambodia.

bye

onny

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Hello :D !

Onny, i hope you will have pleasant trip!

Here are some upper pitchers which oddly share some reminiscence with Nepenthes klossii (as we mentionned here: http://icps.proboards105.com/index.cgi?boa...ad=1186229813):

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Food for thought or just a coincidence? -Of course, i didn't find any fenestration :lol:

Friendly,

François.

Edited by Sockhom

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Hello.

I'm very sad - and furious- to inform you that the cambodian government has sold most of Bokor Hill to a private party.

They plan to build... a casino and two international hotels on top of the hill (like in the colonial times).

The access is now forbidden.

The rough rocky trail is currently being destroyed and replaced by a large modern road which will lead mini- cars of tourists to the summit.

Most of the N. bokor populations I found grow not far from the road side so they will be very likely wiped during the process.

I know from a botanist that some rare orchids have already been destroyed.

Please, those who have the chance to grow the plants, take care of them and spread them in cultivation.

I really hope the species grows somewhere else.

François.

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Terrible news but atleast you managed to get there before access was forbidden. Unfortuntely governments often favour ventures that will make money rather than worrying about any plants growing in the area.

Hopefully the N. Bokors that are already in collections will be very well looked after considering this recent news!

Heather

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This is a very sad reality of our times, and makes it all the more imperative that those who visit these sites are able to harvest some seed when they can. Access to these plants can change overnight and without warning.

Thank goodness you did that François, and now these plants will be safely grown in cultivation. Some limited collection of plants should also be allowed in order to assure that they survive these things, unrooted cuttings are fairly safe; and the original plants and populations will not be affected. It is the only way to assure both male and female plants get into collections, and also those unique sports often found within a population. Collections of entire plants, roots and all, are just wrong, and dangerous, as some of these plants are infested with nematodes and other root parasites.

Other tragedies can also wipe out an entire population overnight as in the case with N. clippeata, which was destroyed by fire.

Even here within the USA, it happens; a few years ago, I noticed heavy equipment in a site where Cypropedium acaule grew in the thousands, along with a few other terrestrial orchids, Botrichium ferns and Lygodium palmatum, and several other rare botanical gems. Orchids are supposed to be protected from development, so I went to the local municipality, and informed them of this, and the habitat destruction must stop. They told me that the would look into it. But a year later, all those orchids and ferns were bulldozed into oblivion, where now stands yet another McMansion development, mostly unoccupied due to the current real estate debacle.

I regret not getting the AOS involved with legal action, and trusted the local township to do the right thing, but obviously, where large sums of money are involved, such "minor impediments" are quickly overlooked and dismissed. The Golden Rule: He who has the gold, makes the rules.

Just my $0.02 worth.

- Rich

Edited by rsivertsen

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Hopefully, I've sent more than 100 seedlings to serious growers. On top of that, after the discovery of the plants last year, I've sent seeds to major nurseries and seasoned growers. N. bokor should appear in their catalogue in the near future.

I'm currently working on placing some plants in Botanical Gardens. I already know Paris' will be glad to host some.

I think the species will be soon widespread in cultivation and if the plant does survive after the capitalist onslaught on Bokor Hill and becomes rare (on the verge of extinction?), it will present very limited interest to poachers.

I hope too that the species grows somewhere else in Cambodia. I have a record of a western population but I have to check that.

François.

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Hi François,

i´m very sad to hear this. :wink:

Too often such wonderful areas are destroyed by mankind.

I hope that they will not destroy everything, so the plants can survive there where you have discovered them.

And hopefully there are existing more locations with this wonderful species, so the species can survive in nature.

Bye the way, my plants are growing without any problems. Thanks a lot. :clapping:

I´m growing them under lowland conditions (hot) and under intermediate conditions to see where they are growing better and to me it seems so as if they are growing a little bit better under lowland conditions.

Best regards,

Dani

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Its a scandal that again a habitad is going to be destroyed due to greed. And what purpuse serves all those sites regulations then?

I have seen Nepenthes smilesii on Phu Kradung, but this Nepenthes looks very different. Only the habitad resembles a bit as far as I can see. It seems to be a sandstonearea.

Alexander

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Hello,

I managed to find some recent pictures (december 2008) of the road leading to Bokor Hill.

I am quite heartbroken as you can guess.

There are chances that the species grows somewhere else in the area but still...

http://www.andybrouwer.co.uk/blog/2008/12/road-to-bokor.html

just compare this with my very first pictures (july 2007).

François.

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:tu: Damn, I'm deeply shocked when I see those pictures!

Well, in my opinion humans are the most selfish creatures on Earth!

They really don't give a .... about nature and all the magnificent plants, N.bokor included.

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Simply despicable. The sign reads along the lines of conservation, what on Earth have they done to the place then!?

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