help wanted with Nepenthes mirabilis propagation

Richard Corlett, Dept. Botany, UHK (
Tue, 17 May 1994 17:50:22 +0800

I am a new subscriber to the CP discussion group with, so far, only a single
interest in carnivorous plants. This concerns Nepenthes mirabilis, Hong Kong's
only pitcher plant species. Although far from rare globally and not endangered
(yet) in Hong Kong, the conservation authorities here are concerned because
HK's largest population has just been wiped out by construction of our new
airport. In HK, Nepenthes is confined to permanently wet sites on granite or
on granite-derived sedimentary rocks - I have never found it at otherwise
identical sites on the more widespread volcanic rocks.

I have got money from the HK Government to support a postgraduate student who
would study the ecology and distribution of the pitcher plant and methods of
transplanting and propagating it. It would be useful if we could maintain
greenhouse colonies on which to do experiments. Growth from seed rather than
cuttings would be best from the conservation point of view since it would
maintain genetic diversity - but for the experiments it doesn't matter if we
use cuttings. I.e. we need to know how to do both! I have Juniper, Robins &
Joel and several other books and papers on CPs. We will try their suggested
methods as soon as we can get seeds. Nepenthes mirabilis has a reputation of
being difficult to grow in HK - I have never seen cultivated plants that look
at all healthy.

Which brings me to the point of this message: can anyone give me advise on how
to grow Nepenthes mirabilis from seed and cuttings (without any exotic material
which may not be available in HK - like live Sphagnum!)?

I will be glad to answer any queries on Hong Kong or tropical Asian botany. We
have ?3 Drosera species (although only D. indica is common.

Thanks for your attention!

Best Wishes

Richard Corlett,
Department of Botany,
University of Hong Kong,
Pokfulam Road,