Re: N. northiana

Date: Wed Jun 16 1999 - 20:47:00 PDT

Date: Wed, 16 Jun 1999 23:47:00 EDT
Message-Id: <aabcdefg2204$foo@default>
Subject: Re: N. northiana

Dear Nepenthophiles,

     N. northiana has been one of the more problematic species for me. I
have talked to a few people who have seen it in habitat and have seen some of
the habitat photos. It does occur on limestone hills but from descriptions
only rarely grows on the limestone itself. In one amazing photo, one plant
was growing at the mouth of a cave on a stalactite seemingly on pure
limestone, but it was stunted when compared to other specimens. Many of the
plants grow on nearly vertical surfaces, though also on the tops of these
hills. They seem to have very good drainage and are in a very high rainfall
area of Borneo. They seem to be rooted in a clay substrate covered in leaf
litter in an area where antinomy is mined, suggesting the soils are full of
heavy metals (natural fungicides?). They are lowland plants in a hot, wet

     In cultivation the plants often show leaf spotting, grow very slowly,
sometimes die for no obvious reason and can be very frustrating. While
cuttings have rooted with some ease the problem seems to be in finding a
substrate the plants like. At least for me they don't seem to like highly
organic mixes. Adding limestone does not seem to really do much good. Mixes
with 50-75% inorgainics like silica gel, pumice, high-fired clay seem the
best so far, the other part of the mix being fir bark/tree fern/charcoal.
Regular application of fungicide seem to help as does the application of
minor elements ( I use a local liquid citrus minor element spray as a soil
Some shading and high humidity seems to help as does R.O. water.

     Still somewhat of an enigima it is one of the most beautifully pitchered
species and the experimentation goes on.


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