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numpty

Trip to Sabah, Borneo (Neps), part II

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Next up, a hodgepodge of Neps from other locations. These others were not so convenient to see, as I didn't have a car, and for the most part public transport doesn't travel on a timetable.

First, a colony of N. fusca near the summit of the road cutting across the Crocker range to Tambunan. I was hitching back to Kota Kinabalu after bad-temperedly walking out of the Rafflesia sanctuary (30 quid to see a flower? No thanks!), but my mood was lightened by spotting pitchers festooning the trees above the road, at about 1,600m asl. It was rough work getting up the bank to have a closer look though.

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South of Kota Kinabalu, on the road to Beaufort, I jumped out of the bus at a likely location, and walked back up the road for a few kilometres, wading into the marshy scrub at the edges of the road every now and then. N. gracilis and mirabilis were all over the place, but I wasn't able to find any N. rafflesiana (possibly not open enough) or N. ampullaria (possibly not shady enough).

Here's N. gracilis.

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And here's N.mirabilis. This was almost as common as the grasses in some places, but most of the time, especially in the darker forest areas, it was pitcherless, and just grew as a leafy vine.

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Finally, here's Rafflesia keithii, which I was able to see just outside Kinabalu Park at Poring Hot Springs. Largest flower in the world, etc, etc (though that might actually be the species R. arnoldii). Not a CP, but still pretty interesting. Most of its life it lives invisibly as parasitic fibres within the tissue of the host Tetrastigma vine. Then over the course of several months the flower bud swells and opens, blooms for a few days, and then dies. The flower has no stalk and no leaves, and smells of decay. It's pollenated by flies, but little is known about seed dispersal. The ones shown here would have been about 60-70cm across.

Thanks for looking!

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Whoa! That's a mighty beast! Just a shame you couldn't find N. rafflesiana :( ....

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