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Nepenthes Nebularum

NEPENTHES NEBULARUM: RARE, MYSTERIOUS AND UNIQUE!

Nepenthes nebularum is one of the most spectacular species described in the 20th century! It was discovered in 2011 by Stewart McPherson in the remote mountains of south-eastern Mindanao in the Philippines. This species was formerly described in 2016 by Geoff Mansell from Exotica Plants. Geoff grew the first true specimens in cultivation and we had a chance to get up close and personal with them!

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Thanks Nepenthes lovers!

a few different specimens of nepenthes nebularum growing at Exotica Plants.

Defining characteristics.

Nebularum has a few unique characteristics which we believe set it apart from other species growing in its native habitat. We will outline a few below.

The leaf and peristome of Nepenthes Nebularum.
The leaf and peristome of N. nebularum.

Fuzzy little things!

The first point of interest is the copper colored indumentum that covers most of the plant. The petioles, tendrils and pitchers are covered in this soft fur. The leaf petioles are almost like a little mammal! We did have fun petting them like one! In the wild, the plants do grow as epiphytes high up in the trees which would make them more susceptible to drying out. Maybe this covering helps them hold moisture close to the plants?

A soft indumentum covering the leaf parts of nepenthes nebularum.
The leaf petiole and attachment of N. nebularum.
Nepenthes nebularum is covered in a soft indumentum.
LR: The tendril, lid and pitcher body covered in a soft, copper colored hairs.

Tendrils as Anchors.

As we mentioned before, this species is mainly epiphytic and it appears to have evolved a way to hang on to host trees. The tendrils on nebularum curve back toward the plant and create ‘an arm’ which anchor the plant securely in place. The plants we observed at Exotica had very hard tendrils and it was clear how this would keep the plants in place, especially with other vegetation growing around them in the wild.

Small flower spikes.

Unlike truncata and Robcantleyi, Nepenthes nebularum produce diminutive flower spikes. This alone sets them apart. From our observations, both truncata, Robcantleyi and their hybrids produce very large flower spikes. We notice these smaller inflorescences in other highland Nepenthes species as well.

The flower heads on Nepenthes nebualrum at Exotica plants.
The diminutive flower heads of N. nebularum.

Morphological consistency.

Nepenthes nebularum seems to vary slightly in pitcher morphology, but all the specimens we observed at Exotica where consistent in terms of form and pitcher coloration. You can see the different plants below. The second image shows a pitcher before it darkens up. The color is stunning in person!

Nepenthes nebularum at Exotica Plants.

Nepenthes nebularum in cultivation.

Geoff Mansell is currently the only person who has successfully raised this species to maturity in cultivation. He states they like growing cooler and do best in highland to intermediate conditions. They also seem to be sensitive to high lights levels and they will spot up if given too much. We have a few specimens and we will share our techniques in a few months. So far, it’s true about less light!

Geoff has done some breeding between his plants and other species and this will give us a deeper understanding on the relationship between the Robcantleyi and truncata plants that grow along side them in the wild. With their prime conditions and experience, Exotica Plants can breed the plants much faster than what takes place in nature. We will see how the genes play out:)

We are looking forward to their first commercial release of this truly fascinating species! It’s a special plant and we are glad to share this article with you all!