Giant Nepenthes Tour, Borneo P6, Mt Alab, Crocker Range


Fredders
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Hi guys

Here's the final instalment from our Giant Nepenthes trip.

It ends with our descent of Mt Trusmadi, which was followed by the long drive back to Keningau where we said goodbye to our fantastic guides and 3 members of our group, Pedro, Adriana and John van der Werf. This was then followed by a big night of feasting at multiple restaurants.

The next day Jeremiah, Alastair and I continued onto the Crocker Range and Mt Alab to see N. chanianah and Rafflesiana pricei.

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Our excellent guides.

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Rafflesiana pricei at Tambunan.

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A side view.

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Jeremiah taking a close up photo on his iPhone.

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Alastair and Jeremiah taking photos of the stunning parasitic flower.

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A new Nepenthes garden walk at Mt Alab.

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The path and habitat winding through the Nepenthes garden.

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A N. chanianah plant growing near the Ranger station. I saw this plant back in 2007 and it was only about 25-30cm in diameter and 20cm tall, now it's at least 1.5m tall with 30cm upper pitchers.

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Me holding the upper pitcher.

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The 30cm pitcher.

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A N. chanianah upper pitcher

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A N. chanianah intermediate pitcher.

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N. chanianah lower pitchers.

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A small N. chanianah plant in the Nepenthes garden.

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A N. fusca lower pitcher with a nice red peristome.

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An unusual green variant.

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N. fusca upper pitchers.

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N. tentaculata vine sprawling over vegetation in the Nepenthes garden.

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N. tentaculata lower pitcher.

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A stunning dark form.

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A N. lowii plant that's been transplanted into the garden.

After visiting the Nepenthes garden we then headed off to see a nice wild patch of N. fusca.

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A attractive form of N. fusca that had a nice striped peristome and deep mottling on it's upper pitchers.

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The huge clump of N. fusca plants.

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Alastair taking some photos of the huge clump.

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Some plants in flower.

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The surrounding vegetation where they grow.

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The N. fusca habitat on Mt Alab.

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After visiting Mt Alab, we'd finally finished our tour and headed back to Kota Kinabalu. Pictured is Jeremiah and Alastair squeezing into the lift with all of their gear.

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As we arrived at KK around lunchtime, we had the rest of the day to look around and do a bit of souvenir shopping. This is the new Suria Sabah mall which opened earlier this year. A very impressive and modern mall very similar to our ones in Australia.

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The final feast: We caught up again with John Yates in KK who came out with us for our final dinner at the Waterfront restaurants where we feasted upon delicious crabs and prawns. Pictured in Jeremiah (left) and John finishing off the crab.

The next day we all headed off back home. I had a 5 hour wait at Singapore Airport to catch my connecting flight. So while I was there I checked out the various gardens. And to my delight in the butterfly house they'd put together a few Nepethes gardens, which was nice way to finish of the tour for me. It seemed like these plants were everywhere I went now!

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The Butterfly garden.

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N. x hookeri. (ampullaria x rafflesiana)

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The Singapore native Nepenthes garden.

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The Hungry Plants garden which contained some N. alata, N. truncata and a few other species/hybrids.

I hope you've all enjoyed the Giant Nepenthes Tour.

I'd like to thank Stew McPherson, Alastair Robinson, Tham Yau Kong in Borneo, our guides and porters for organising the tour and for taking us to see some of the best Nepenthes species in the world on 2 beautiful mountains.

And I'd also like to thank all of my new travel companions, many who I met for the first time who helped make the trip even more enjoyable and I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did.

For everyone reading this post, if you get the chance I highly recommend climbing these mountains and seeing these plants, as it'll be an experience you'll never forget.

Cheers

Steve

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Thanks for posting the pics. Although they might be considered common, N. fusca do have some really nice pitchers, especially the elegant uppers. Great to see the massive flowering too.

I have had doubts that the N. chaniana found in the new location on Mt. Alab have been true, since there have been differences from the type description. Seeing the new pics the shape of the upper pitchers looks more like what I would expect on this species. Also, the tendrils do not appear as long this time around.

It has been a real treat to be able to "follow" you on this tour, thanks again.

Regards,

Christer

Edited by christerb
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Hi Christer

A few people have had reservations about N. chanianah on Mt Alab whether it's the real thing or a N. stenophylla hybrid as the pitchers have always looked quite different to the plants found at other locations and in cultivation. The true upper pitcher did look a lot more like the typical other forms this time though.

The plant that we saw back in 2007 was a huge vining plant at the type location and was growing in heavy shade. Where as this plant was growing out in the open. Whether this has something to do with the plants growth patterns I don't know.

Cheers

Steve

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A few people have had reservations about N. chanianah on Mt Alab whether it's the real thing or a N. stenophylla hybrid as the pitchers have always looked quite different to the plants found at other locations and in cultivation. The true upper pitcher did look a lot more like the typical other forms this time though.

Un-aware of this. But I was thinking while looking at the photos that these N. chaniana surely appear rather N. fallax-ish. To me, most of the uppers as well. Perhaps this species is still un-named? That would be pretty funny.

Or perhaps other N. chaniana photo's I've seen had some N. veitchii influence? Man, its complicated.

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Hi Dave

I'm by no means a Nepenthes expert, so to me there could be a possibility of hybridisation mixed in with this plant?

Ranau was the first time I'd ever seen N. stenophylla/fallax and there are indeed similarities between this form and N. stenophylla/fallax.

I'll leave it up to the experts to argue this one out I think.

Cheers

Steve

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Well, why is that place called a "Garden"? Did someone move pitcher plants to that location, more than just N. lowii? If some folks have been adding more species to this place, they may have created a hybrid swarm.

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HI Dave

It looks like they've just put a path through a section of the bush there and transplanted some small N. fusca, N. tentaculata and N. chaninah plants that are local to the area from perhaps the spots where they've cleared the bush to put up new accommodation?

N. lowii is also supposed to be endemic to the area, and has been transplanted to a separate garden area near the Ranger station. That plant and many others in this garden weren't there 5 years ago, and neither were the new accommodation buildings.

Perhaps in the future a hybrid swarm may be created. Most of these plants come from the area, so natural hybrids could have been created anyway.

Cheers

Steve

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