View Full Version : The Monkey Cups - carnivorous plants

The Bigfella
05-31-2012, 09:53 PM
I was going to call this one for the gardeners, but hey, I'm no gardener and I find them interesting. I've posted photos of carnivorous plants from a couple of locations in my Asian trip ride report... but this lot is different. Its a garden up near the top of Penang Hill, Malaysia. The state my legs and feet are in at present.... I could have done without the 3km return walk (hilly).... but it was worth it.

This from hungryplant.com

The genus Nepenthes (Monkey Cup or Tropical Pitcher plant) is one of the most fascinating of all carnivorous plants. Currently almost 100 species are accepted scientifically, most of them from Borneo, Sumatra and the Malaysian region. The climbing vines of Nepenthes produce a modified form of leaf called a "pitcher" hence the common name "Tropical Pitcher plant". The size of the pitcher varies and some species are large enough to hold up to two litres of water! The name “Monkey Cup” arises from the fact that monkeys have been seen to drink water from them in the rainforests. The pitchers are not simply water reservoirs for the plant in times of drought, as the first European observers assumed. They are actually highly complex passive insect traps, which secrete and absorb a mild to very acidic digestive fluid that contains many as yet undetermined compounds. Insects are attracted to the traps because of nectar secretions and coloration. The slippery rim and inner walls of the pitcher encourage insects to fall into the digestive fluid at the bottom of the trap. Nutrients are absorbed from this "soup." The variation in pitcher colour and shape is what most interests exotic plant enthusiasts and the horticultural trade. The wonderful hanging pitchers of Nepenthes attract attention wherever they are found. They generally like bright light without much direct sun so they can be grown in a greenhouse, sun room, in a partly sunny window or under lights. They need similar conditions to most Orchids, so if you are already growing Orchids in a greenhouse, then Nepenthes should thrive in there too.

I rattled off quite a few shots:







The Bigfella
05-31-2012, 09:56 PM




Despite there being plenty of people up on the Hill, I was the only one in that garden. The locals prefered to pay $3 to get their photo taken with a Burmese Python


Jimmy W
05-31-2012, 11:54 PM
Thanks Ian. We have pitcher plants here that somewhat resemble the ones in the 5th photo, but those are interesting.

06-01-2012, 12:56 AM
Nice python! Named Monty by chance?

David W Pratt
06-03-2012, 11:43 AM
Carnivorous plants grow where the soil is deficient in nitrogen, the bugs are a good source of nitrogen. The Arboretum in Roger Williams Park has a lovely garden of carnivorous plants.