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rsivertsen

N. ventricosa - "porcelain form"

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Dave Evans took some photos of my "porcelain form" recently and posted them in another forum, but thought they were good enough to post them here as well. They are very slow, growing only one new leaf about every 4 months, and form pitchers only 2 or 3 months during the winter. They're not easy plants to grow, and cuttings don't always take root well either, but they ARE well worth the effort.

These are still small sized plants, and get twice this size easily when fully mature. I have yet to see this plant flower although I've been familiar with them for well over 25 years, and Longwood Gardens has grown them for about 50 years and has never got it to produce a flower either, nor has anyone I know here in the USA. To my knowledge, only Geoff Mansel has got it to produce a female flower.

They will often form tendrils without developing pitchers, then when conditions seem right, they seem to resume growth, develop and open all at once. Notice the peristomes and how different they are from the smaller, southern varieties in Luzon which seem to have spots and some shade of pink to flesh colored pitchers and a very different peristome, and flowers profusely, both males and females.

They are also very stiff, nearly woody, like N. lowii, which is doesn't show in the photographs.

I'm hoping to get full sized mature pitchers from them this season when they resume pitcher formation. - Rich

N_Porcelain01.jpg

N_Porcelain02.jpg

N_Porcelain03.jpg

N_Porcelain04.jpg

N_Porcelain05.jpg

Edited by rsivertsen

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yeah, there are some strange ones, and that it the whitest one I've seen to date! There is also an "alba form" which is also fairly pale to white, but not as large as the "porcelain form". Mine originally came from Longwood Gardens, and is usually a pale porcelain cream white color, but if it's grown outdoors, close to the ground where it gets cool humid mornings with a few early morning hours of sunlight, it will get blood red; for some reason they never get this red color under glass. Perhaps there is an essential wavelength in natural sunlight that gets filtered out by common or tempered glass, or perhaps it's the cool humid temps, or all the above. - Rich

Edited by rsivertsen

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Rich - What, in your opinion, are the differences between this and the 'alba' form? They seem pretty similar to me, though my plants has white/cream pitchers rather than green (maybe that's just how they look in your photos) and a narrower peristome. And I think the trick of not producing pitchers and then inflating several at once is common to all types of ventricosa. Just wondering ...

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Hey Sam, the "alba forms" are very close to this but don't seem to get as large and the peristomes are also a little smaller and curled downward compared to this form. Most likely they both originate from the same parts in northern Luzon. I hope to get some larger pitchers from them later this year. They seem to stop growing altogether for a few months late spring early summer regardless what I do with them. Then around late August start growing again and forming pitchers. Their pitchers can reach sizes of 8 to 12 inches, which is quite a show stopper. Their perisomes are even wider and the constriction is more pronounced. Its curious that this form has been in cultivation far longer than any other form, but even today, it's still rare in most collections. Part of the problem is that it's so slow, and reluctant to produce pitchers, and cuttings are not easy to root either. It's definitely a highland plant, and doesn't do well in hot conditions. Most of the other forms, from the southern ranges of Luzon grew so quickly, flowered so profusely for me, compared to this that I didn't notice if they were delaying pitcher development the same as this one. - Rich

Edited by rsivertsen

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I have several different plants of this type and they all open up very pale and turn blood red as they age. It takes months for them to fully turn to blackish purple color. Based on the just unfurling peristome on that link to the white one, it is clearly newly opened and the color is not suprising for these plants. Take a look also at the leaves and you will see they are quite pale as well. Whatever is causing the plant to bleach out has added to the paleness normally seen in these plants when they first open. Be careful what conclusions you draw from a single snapshot in time! Also note that when the plants are small the peristome is much more underdeveloped and rolled around the top of the pitcher. As they get larger and more mature they can get noticeably broader and flatter.

Tony

Edited by Tony

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Here are a bunch. Light was fading so some are a little blurry.

Currently I am growing:

From Exotica - clone © which is labelled black peristome, and (d) which is labelled Japan

From Malesiana - clone Wide Pink Peristome

Old photo of clone © of an aged pitcher

Nventricosa_CEP.jpg

clone (d) bunch of photos..

photo of the plant not long after it arrived

NventricosaDPinkEPCR.jpg

New photo of opening pitcher from basal rosette

NventDbase.jpg

New photo of aged pitcher from basal rosette

NventDbaseolder.jpg

New photo of the same plant from top of the vine, recently opened

NventDupper.jpg

Different piece of N. ventricosa (d)

basal rosette pitcher that has colored up a bit.

NventD1.jpg

Wide Pink Peristome

Recently opened pitcher from basal rosette

NventWPPMT2.jpg

Same plant older pitcher from basal rosette

NventWPPMTold.jpg

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Very interesting forms there Tony! Let's keep an eye on those plants and see if they can produce pitchers that can get 8 to 12 inches in length, which the porcelain forms do when grown to full stature, (not an easy task!). Still, all my porcelain form plants continue to produce these wide and flat peristomes that get even wider with more points as it goes into climbing form. - Rich

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Rich & Tony, Beautiful plants you have there.

Rich, the peristome is actually glossy as if you waxed it. VEry healthy sign indeed.

Thank you for sharing.

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Thats a very nice plant, but are you sure it's the porcelain form?

I thought this was the porcelain form. http://www.exoticaplants.com/database/cps/...ricosawhite.htm

I've seen these photos before and the plant looks stressed or sick. And the pitch shape is off. It probably is the same clone, as there is only one 'Porcelain'.

N. ventricosa uppers are not normally that white. Also, the photos I took are not of the upper pitchers, only the uppers are whitish in this species.

Edited by Dave Evans

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I will admit, I have not tried to grow them to large specimen plants so many of my photos are probably not the best examples of their true potential. This past Spring I repotted most of my stock plants and gave them much more room and bigger pots. It will be interesting to see what they can do for sure!

Here are a few more photos.

N. ventricosa © this is a very small piece just starting to pitcher again. I took this one to show that it too opens very pale. Sorry a bit squished as it formed between a couple pots

NventCnew.jpg

Here is a couple photos of the N. ventricosa Wide Pink Peristome. This is the same pitcher shown above. You can see the color change in the past few weeks. It will continue darkening for quite a while yet.

NventWPPMT4.jpg

Here is a photo of the plant with the basal shoot where the pitcher is originating. You can see how small the leaf is that made this pitcher vs the newer leaves above. How big will the pitchers eventually get? I don't know but I think with the way the plant is increasing in size we will have a good idea when these new leaves eventually form pitchers.

The two smaller pitchers to the left are from the same basal shoot. They were formed not too long after the basal shoot sprouted and started making pitchers.

NventWPPMTplant.jpg

Tony

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Here's the 'alba' form that's perhaps more common over here. The pitchers of this plant also go a deep red/purple with old age. What I especially like is the almost triangular upper part of the pitchers.

(apologies for the middle photo, which I can't get to sit up)

BW8Z_nep1.jpg

nz7z_nep2.jpg

IM7V_nep3.jpg

Edited by SamInLondon

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Nice Sam! Any further information on where this plant originated?

Rich - I talked with Ch'ien about the 'Wide Pink Peristome' clone from Malesiana. He informed me that it was from his collection and he obtained it from a grower on the West coast U.S. but couldn't recall for certain who. I wonder if it's possible the same clone as the Kew/Longwood plant. They certainly look very similar to me.

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Tony - I bought this plant from Gert Hoogenstrijd at Extreme Plants. Several forum members grow this form. Here's what Gert had to say in a previous thread:

'The plants I swap en sell are Nepenthes ventricosa "alba" are originating from the botanical garden of LEiden. They mother plant has been grown from wild collected seeds. One of the plants did have alba pitchers when it is getting older. It looks like a toilet or even sometimes like a pitcher of lowii. Because of the beauty of this species, it has been put in tissue culture. All the plant of extreme-plants do originate from this single plant. I will try to find time to figger out the exact location data of the mother plant.'

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Sam, Thanks for the explanation. I figured that they may have been in TC since so many are in collections now and seem very uniform; interesting that it may just be a sport. But similar plants have been photographed in the wild recently. - Rich

Edited by rsivertsen

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