Re:Yet another round of "Name that Nep!"

Date: Thu Nov 18 1999 - 09:43:57 PST

Date:          Thu, 18 Nov 1999 09:43:57 
Message-Id: <aabcdefg3917$foo@default>
Subject:       Re:Yet another round of "Name that Nep!"

Dear John, Joe, et al.,

_Nepenthes_ specimens offered for sale on supermarket shelves (or
at Thai nurseries) are most frequently the garbage resulting from
erratic or spontaneous hybridization (i.e. the material an ambitioned
and responsible breeder should dispose off rather than to sell it).
Most frequently, not even the producers of these plants do know the
parentage, and this is in most cases impossible to find out by the
general morphology of the hybrids.

As far as I am concerned, I do not find these plants particularly
attractive, because they only display "general-_Nepenthes_"
appearance (i.e. most of them do look like _N. alata_) with the
traits of even as characteristic species as _N. bicalcarata_ entirely
lost after a few rounds of hybridization.

One big advantage (for some growers) of these hybrids is the usually
higher (as compared to the parent species) resistance to adverse
growing conditions. However, this turns rapidly into a disadvantage,
because these dull bastards tend to displace the more sensitive (but
usually also more outstanding) species from cultivation (in some

This might be the reasons why only very few taxonomists or experts
bother with supermarket plants.

A most dangerous phenomenon associated with the spread of undefined
hybrids is "tentative identification" by incomplete exclusion: "It
must be _N. madagascariensis_, the only species I know that is not
illustrated in my book (_Nepenthes_ of Borneo)." This leads to the
wrong impression that species that are in fact rarely found in
cultivation were easy to grow and widespread.

If you want to have a named plant, you should obtain one from a
reliable source. There are numerous extant _Nepenthes_ nurseries on
the web.

Kind regards

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