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Searching for Nepenthes fusca

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February 24th 2009

Nepenthes fusca is a species that I'm not familiar with. I tend to view it, in the past, as a pale copy of N. maxima. this was a time when I only looked at plants with a collector's eye. Still, I know the taxonomic features of that species but I don't have it in culture and, to me, you only know a plant when you do grow it.

February 24th. We just saw the Orang utangs near Kuching and we're now heading to the "Penrissen range". The highest peak there is the quite known Gunung Penrissen (1329 m). Actually, Mount Penrissenn is located in Kalimantan, Indonesia.

We're just at the border between Sarawak and the Indonesian province at 900 masl (actually, on the picture, I'm in Indonesia since I'm at the other side of the fence! ;D)

The climate is much cooler. I don't think the temperature exceeds 25°C.

We're starting with some "birdwatching", an activity I'm not familiar with. Our guide, Yeo, is a fascinating man.


The landscape is breathtaking:






I hope you enjoy all those aerial views because I'm about to introduce you to an epiphytic Nepenthes, an air child.

Nothing has prepared me to this experience. Yes, I knew what "epiphtyc" means but as a typical french man, I thought that epiphytic only means that a plant grows in a pocket of moss hung on a terrarium' side ;D! I had to use binoculars to spot N. fusca and this was, physically, a peculiar experience.

Edited by Sockhom
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Our guide just explained that he never had the chance to see a terrestrial fusca in this area, even if he knows he might find one someday.

I think I felt a bit disappointed because I would only admire the species from a distance. One's like to grab those big jars! ;D

Our search for N. fusca starts near our chalet. At the border of the jungle:


We quickly spot a plant:


We settle the telescope and take the other binoculars...




A Nepenthes on a tree! What a sight! Completely different from from what we're used to see in our terrariums, trailer ;), or greenhouses.

The specimen you just saw is amost at the top of this tree. isn't that crazy?


With a little luck, we should find other plants. We're examining many trees and do find, at towering heights, beautiful plants of N. fusca!



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I feel happy. What an experience! I was always used to bend my head looking at the soil, searching for low growing plants or insects and, here I am, eyes opened wide toward the sky, searching for pitcher-plants hiding in the luxurious trees!

And, exquisite surprise, as I was wandering alone, I stumbled, on a small slope, on two beautiful young specimens of terrestrial N. fusca!

My guides couldn't believe it. Until now, they could only see this species with their binoculars or telescope!




-"You're damn lucky!!" they say.

- Yes, I am".

Speak soon,


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Beautiful, so lush and green!

Interesting seeing N. fusca from that part of Borneo. The lower looks quite similar to the ones growing in Sabah, more so than the so called N. fusca "Sarawak". Nice also seeing the companion plants (orchids) clinging high up in the tree, looks like Bulbophyllum species. Thanks for showing the photos.



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A Nepenthes on a tree! What a sight! Completely different from from what we're used to see in our terrariums, trailer ;), or greenhouses.

Thanks Francois

Who is grown Neps in a Trailer? It must be a Hippie.... ;D

I normaly want to move my plants out as soon my Greenhouse is finished, but i dont no if i want to do it because the Trailer is going more and more populare...

Also thanks for the nice Pictures. This trip was sure a big experience for you. I also hope to see Nepenthes one day in the Wild.


Edited by JensB
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Fantastic report and pics. Love the shots showing the clouds in the valley below and of course the Neps! It wasn't that long ago that I remember you saying you had seen your first Nep in the wild and now you're travelling all over the world seeing these amazing plants. Keep up the great work.

Regards Neil

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Glad ou liked the report. I have some other following.

Neil, you're right. It was just yesterday that I met my first Nepenthes in the wild (mirabilis). I did not suspect then that those plants would take such a place in my life... ;-)

Speak soon,


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