Nepenthes maxima 'mini maxima' overview


James O'Neill
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This has to be one of my favourite plants and it has grown the best for me of all my nepenthes. I cannot remember all the information on it, but it is wild seedgrown from, I believe, Lake Poso, Sulawesi. I emailed the seller in an appeal for info (Sativ on the forum) but got no reply.

I got it in late 2010 as a seedling with pitchers no larger than 3cm. By May 2011, it looked like this with a 5cm pitcher.

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In strong sunlight, the leaves went dark purple.

By August 2011, the plant had grown many basal plantlets, due to some stress, I believe, it endured when I was on holiday. Most of these died away again but 2 survived.

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Between then and now, the plant has grown to be almost unrecognisable. Like its name suggests, it has stayed small (for a maxima).

It has 2 vines with uppers and 2 flower spikes. It is a female.

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The lowers are slim and at largest about 18cm tall. They are reasonably colourful with a thin peristome and the distinctive maxima processes on the lid.

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The intermediate is also colourful, slightly smaller than the lower, and fades out to green at the base.

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This is my first nepenthes to vine and produce uppers.The uppers are more yellowish in colour with some red colouring. They are a nice shape, fattest just below the pitcher mouth and a long slim base.

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This is the first nepenthes to flower for me. My plant is a female and has just produced 2 flower spikes on the same vine. The older flower spike has about 55 flowers which are on single or diverged stalks.

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The base of the plant. It has 2 basals, one of which is vining, and another couple of tiny basals are developing.

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I hope you enjoyed this series of pictures of one of my favourite plants that I have.

If anyone else has any photos of their plant, I would be really interested in seeing what they look like, how they compare to mine, and any info on where it comes from!

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Thanks, James. I don't have much info on it, other than to say the pod was collected from Sulawesi, but I don't think it was near Lake Poso. All of the other seedlings starting vining ages ago, so this one is incredibly slow in comparison.

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There is a miniature N. maxima from around Danau Poso that I named as 'Lake Poso'. It features gracile growth, and takes on a wirery appearance. Further out from the lake, up in the mountains there are large (normal sized) N. maxima with wavy leaves. I see no reason Mobile's plant couldn't be a hybrid between these two kinds of maxima.

There were a couple of collections made next to Lake Poso, and many other locations. But the mini-maxima occurs in more places than just Lake Poso...

Red plants can grow more slowly than greener plants. They reflect away some of the red light they would otherwise use as food. It is rather neat looking Mato!

Edited by Dave Evans
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Do you have the date and/or the exact labling from the seed packets? Sometimes you can track down the actual collection via this information. I recall there were several collections of maxima seed made in 2007. Along with several from adjacent Lake Pose, several were of the very large wavy leaves varieties. There were a couple collections made from Lake Anggii (sp?) of the same miniature taxon were it overlaps with N. klossii (or perhaps these are two different collections of the mini-maxima). There was also a couple of collections made from near Tentena of a gracile, but more normal sized N. maxima; it tends to have very long, tubular pitchers.

Anyone that collected seed from near Lake Poso can now label those seed as Nepenthes 'Lake Poso'. Only those populations further out and up from from the Lake which are physically closer to other varieties of N. maxima might produce hybrids with other species, like N. glabrata or different kinds of N. maxima[/i].

There were three collections from which I named 'Lake Poso'

1,600 meters mini-maxima (notes on the packets were not correct, the actual location was at 1,200 meters)

700 meters Lake Poso

400 meters Lake Poso

Any plants which grow into plants that do not maintain the gracile, miniature, wirery growth habit should no longer be considered as 'Lake Poso'. This is the first Nepenthes cultivar that can be remade via seed right in your own greenhouse, provided you only breed two 'Lake Poso' together. Various clones are also available from Borneo Exotics.

Edited by Dave Evans
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Do you have the date and/or the exact labling from the seed packets? Sometimes you can track down the actual collection via this information. I recall there were several collections of maxima seed made in 2007. Along with several from adjacent Lake Pose, several were of the very large wavy leaves varieties. There were a couple collections made from Lake Anggii (sp?) of the same miniature taxon were it overlaps with N. klossii (or perhaps these are two different collections of the mini-maxima). There was also a couple of collections made from near Tentena of a gracile, but more normal sized N. maxima; it tends to have very long, tubular pitchers.

Anyone that collected seed from near Lake Poso can now label those seed as Nepenthes 'Lake Poso'. Only those populations further out and up from from the Lake which are physically closer to other varieties of N. maxima might produce hybrids with other species, like N. glabrata or different kinds of N. maxima[/i].

Any plants which grow into plants that do not maintain the gracile, miniature, wirery growth habit should no longer be considered as 'Lake Poso'. This is the first Nepenthes cultivar that can be remade via seed right in your own greenhouse, provided you only breed two 'Lake Poso' together. Various clones are also available from Borneo Exotics.

I received the plant as a small seedling. I cannot remember if I got info with it (I suspect not as I would have written it down). But the original seller appears to have given up with CPs.

I have an idea of the answer but I want to be confirmed - what does gracile mean? Is my plant wiry, and gracile, and therefore likely to be one of the Poso plants?

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Nice to see the plant again. I was marvelled by it in August when I was there and as you know bought one of my own. Mine is came with the data maxima "miniature form" - altitude 1600m "Sulawesi, Indonesia" (from Milos Sua on CPUK). I think mine has a pitcher but it's a VERY young plant. I ordered mine a couple of weeks after seeing yours.

The only other info I have is that 'It is much smaller than "Lake Poso", more colorfull and easy to grow.'

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Nice to see the plant again. I was marvelled by it in August when I was there and as you know bought one of my own. Mine is came with the data maxima "miniature form" - altitude 1600m "Sulawesi, Indonesia" (from Milos Sua on CPUK). I think mine has a pitcher but it's a VERY young plant. I ordered mine a couple of weeks after seeing yours.

The only other info I have is that 'It is much smaller than "Lake Poso", more colorfull and easy to grow.'

So, as Dave has said as above, this would count as one of the Poso plants as it was collected at the 1600m locality..? And it was at 1200m rather than 1600m

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I have got N. maxima from three Sulawesi locations that appear to have the gracile way of growing. BE's variety from Tentena, the one from Luwuk, and a variety (Elongated form) that Stewart collected seed of near Lore Lindu. I do have some N. maxima from Poso as well. Although still young, from the looks of it, they appear similar to my other forms.

I wonder if the "true" mini N. maxima that was found in Sulawesi ever made it into cultivation. If so, it would be interesting to know if they stay short in cultivation as well, or start to vine like the gracile form found elsewhere on that island.

Regards,

Christer

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By smaller, they mean shorter. The plants in that location were exposed to a lot of sun and most were flowering at rather short heights, some at only a few cm tall.

Yes, they are in cultivation. However, I believe these plants were naturally bonsia'ed by their growing conditions. In more normal habitat with competing vegetation they would have longer vines.

When I named this variety, I left it open as to whether these plants from 1,200 meters were also 'Lake Poso', but nearly all the plants I've seen that have reached maturity appear consistent with the variety. Indicating the logging that happened there helped bonsia and already miniature plant.

Edited by Dave Evans
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I have got N. maxima from three Sulawesi locations that appear to have the gracile way of growing. BE's variety from Tentena, the one from Luwuk, and a variety (Elongated form) that Stewart collected seed of near Lore Lindu. I do have some N. maxima from Poso as well. Although still young, from the looks of it, they appear similar to my other forms.

I wonder if the "true" mini N. maxima that was found in Sulawesi ever made it into cultivation. If so, it would be interesting to know if they stay short in cultivation as well, or start to vine like the gracile form found elsewhere on that island.

What is the 'true' mini maxima you speak of?

I also have an elongated form from S. McPherson's seed. It is very different however to my mini maxima. Very different pitcher, peristome, pattern and leaf shape.

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The one shown in Stewart book, growing in a savannah which is flowering when quite short. If it is just an ecophene then I don't see what is special with it.

In my eyes the "mini" looked like it had more rigid leaves (similar to some plants posted in this thread), but I don't know if that is correct. BE have a N. maxima clone called "watutau dwarf", but I don't know if that should be considered to be the same form.

Regards,

Christer

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Christer,

There is a dwarved version of N. maxima, and it is a valid taxon. It doesn't have a published name (most likely), but if I were to give it a name, it would be N. maxima subspecies minor as it seems to have its own range within that of N. maxima subsp. maxima.

Depending on how unique or similar the various populations are, they might all fit into one taxon, yet still be recognized as different cultilvars (names for use in cultivation) based on where they come from. Not that this has to be done. If all the locations' plants are very similar so that no one sees any need to recognize them further, simple location data could be used instead.

Keep in mind, if a normal maxima becomes dwarved because of the local conditions, it could come to resemble this taxon. So some of the plants called "dwarves" might no be so, just the plants were small when people visited the area and collected seed. Then there is the additional mistake of mislabling what has been collected, which can/will confuse people further on down the line.

There so many forms of N. maxima, I might be confusing something here, but from what I recall the Tentena (very tubular and bigger plant over all) and Watutau (small, but not very gracile) forms are different form each other and wouldn't be what I consider "minor".

All the N. maxima I've worked with have had fairly rigid leaves, and can be easy to crack.

Edited by Dave Evans
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Dave,

Yes, growing conditions can greatly affect the appearance of a plant, so that is why I wonder if that "mini" stays small. I don't know if plants from that specific location actually have found its way into cultivation, or if it is just similar looking plants. I would think that if the "mini" is in cultivation, then by now there should be some decently sized plant.

Indeed the leaves of this species is quite rigid, but all is relative, and these gracile forms have leaves that are softer than, for instance the Mt. Sesean variety.

As you have stated before the Tentena doesn't seem to fit the criteria that you have set for N. maxima 'Lake Poso'. Although my plants' stature fits within it, that can have to do with that I don't grow it very well : ) Personally, I am not big on cultivar status on Nepenthes species, so I don't mind. Still, in my eyes the N. maxima Tentena doesn't fit in with the "normal" N. maxima either, which appear bigger/robuster. I don't feel that they necessarily are a mix of the two forms either. Especially, when these gracile intermediately sized N. maxima can be found in other locations.

Reading up on this cultivar it is clear that it could be separated from the "normal" N. maxima, but with more intermediate forms that line gets fuzzy. Also, in hindsight I don't feel that the cultivar name was the best. I can see a scenario where growers start to use N. maxima 'Lake Poso' on plants they grow, which fit the criteria of this cultivar, but in reality originate from another location, maybe even outside Sulawesi.

Regards,

Christer

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Yes, that is the mini-maxima that turn out to be 'Lake Poso' They were stunted by the local conditions. Wish they would fix the elevation data on their web-site.

That is a perfect example of 'Lake Poso'.

One of the defining characteristics of this cultivated variety is that it must be sourced from the populations around Danua Poso and then it must also meet the physical charateristics. And, I feel one would have to be pretty dull witted to lable plant from say, Danua Matana, as 'Lake Poso'. Which is the reason I used the lake as a direct reference. Why would one "cover up" a new collect from a different area as an example of an older collection that has already been available for several years? Usually, things are worth more when they are newer and still rare...

I do see what you mean about plants of the same exact form without location data being mistook for 'Lake Poso'. So folks, retain the location data. Please. :) And plants of this variety have been collected from around Lake Poso for years and years, and it was in cultivation long before I named it. Currently, most of the plants in cultivation of this miniature form are indeed 'Lake Poso'. There have been a couple of other miniatures collected, but most of these have been more recent and the location data is usually attached; at least that is what I have seen. I'm sure in a few more years there will several more locations of these mini-maxima available as interest in Nepenthes continues to rise and more people continue collecting seed.

Christer, I'm not sure about the Tentena location. I've been reviewing photos of the uppers and so far they appear consistent with 'Lake Poso'. People describe it as have a wide peristome, but in the photos it appears thinner than normal to me... I think I made mistake in discounting Tentena.

Edited by Dave Evans
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