Nepenthes orbiculata and mirabilis var. globosa were recently separated into their own taxon. Let’s take a closer look at the specimens we grow here at Redleaf Exotics.
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Nepenthes orbiculata: A new species
Recently described in 2018 by naturalists Marcello Catalano and Trong Kruetreepradit, N. orbiculata is distinguished by location and its unique pitcher morphology. They were previously called mirabilis var. globosa or ‘Viking’. Unlike the former, this species is only found off the shores of Thailand on the island of Phang Nga. Until DNA studies are done we won’t know for sure if its a true species or not. It may just be an extremely isolated population of mirabilis.
The spherical pitchers and large flared wings are unique to these plants. They remind us of fins on a fish! We grow a few different specimens of this species and all are very consistent in pitcher morphology.
N. orbiculata thrive in true lowland conditions. We grow them with a relative humidity of 80%/85% and the days are in the 85-90F range. Our nights are never lower than 65F in the lowland greenhouse. Since the pitchers are paper thin, they may not perform their best in less than ideal conditions and not hold the mounds of pitchers they are capable of. We kept one in our intermediate greenhouse and it didn’t thrive nearly as well as those in the lowland.
N. mirabilis var. globosa
The images depict what is now known as the true mirabilis var. globosa. These are found on the mainland in the province of Trang and have more elongate pitchers compared to orbiculata. The wings are far less dramatic on these, but still extremely charming plants! Without pitchers, the leaves and stems make it nearly impossible to tell these two plants apart.
Thanks Nepenthes growers!