Low-level pitcher of Nepenthes macfarlanei, copyright Alexey Yakovlev.

Belongs within: Caryophyllales.

Nepenthes, the tropical pitcher plants, is a genus of shrubs and lianas found in the Indo-Australian region and Madagascar that have leaves ending in tendrils bearing fluid-filled pitchers that capture insects and other small animals for nutriment.

Characters (from Flora of China): Lianas or shrubs to 20 m, sometimes only weakly woody, dioecious, carnivorous. Stem simple or branched, erect, climbing, or procumbent, cylindric or triangular in cross section, glabrous or pubescent. Leaves alternate, petiolate or sessile; midvein prolonged into a tendril, apex of tendril usually developing into a dimorphic pitcher with a lid usually projecting over mouth and a spur inserted at base of lid. Pitchers toward base of plant ovoid, facing inward, with 2 fringed wings, tendril ventral, uncoiled; pitchers toward apex of plant cylindric or funnelform, facing outward, wings generally unfringed or reduced to ridges, tendril dorsal, coiled. Inflorescence terminal (appearing leaf opposed because of continued axillary growth), racemose, or with secondary branches 2-flowered or cincinni, usually sparsely bracteate. Flowers regular; perianth in 1 whorl of (3 or)4 tepals. Male flowers with 4-24 anthers; filaments united into a column; pistils inconspicuous. Female flowers with inconspicuous anthers; pistils (3 or)4; ovary superior, stipitate or not, ovoid-globose or tetragonal-terete, rarely obdeltoid, (3 or)4-loculed; placentation axile; ovules numerous, in many rows; style very short to obsolete; stigma disclike, (3 or)4-lobed. Capsule (3 or)4-valved, leathery or woody, loculicidally dehiscent. Seeds numerous, usually hairlike; embryo straight; endosperm fleshy.

<==Nepenthes [Nepenthaceae]
    |--N. albo-marginata P88
    |--N. ampullaria KTG03
    |--N. bicalcarata P88
    |--N. boschiana H03
    |--N. danseri H03
    |--N. gracilis KTG03
    |--N. × hookeriana [N. ampullaria × N. rafflesiana] KTG03
    |--N. khasiana MR07
    |--N. lowii P88
    |--N. macfarlanei P88
    |--N. madagascariensis FOK96
    |--N. melamphora H04
    |--N. mirabilis H03
    |--N. pervillei FOK96
    |--N. rafflesiana KTG03
    |--N. rajah P88
    |--N. sanguinea P88
    |--N. sumatrana H03
    |--N. tobaica FOK96
    |--N. treubiana H03
    `--N. × trichocarpa [N. ampullaria × N. gracilis] KTG03

*Type species of generic name indicated


[FOK96] Fashing, N. J., B. M. OConnor & R. L. Kitching. 1996. Adaptations for swimming in the genus Creutzeria (Astigmata: Histiostomatidae). In: Mitchell, R., D. J. Horn, G. R. Needham & W. C. Welbourn (eds) Acarology IX vol. 1. Proceedings pp. 385–388. Ohio Biological Survey: Columbus (Ohio).

[H04] Haeckel, E. 1899–1904. Kunstformen der Natur. Bibliographisches Institut: Leipzig und Wien.

[H03] Heads, M. 2003. Ericaceae in Malesia: vicariance biogeography, terrane tectonics and ecology. Telopea 10 (1): 311–449.

[KTG03] Kiew, R., L. L. Teo & Y. Y. Gan. 2003. Assessment of the hybrid status of some Malesian plants using Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism. Telopea 10 (1): 225–233.

[MR07] Mao, A. A., & R. A. Ranyaphi. 2007. Seed viability studies in Nepenthes khasiana Hook.f.: comparison of in vivo and in vitro seed germination. Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 49: 89–94.

[P88] Polunin, I. 1988. Plants and Flowers of Malaysia. Times Editions: Singapore.

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