26. Nepenthes Merrilliana MACF., Contr. Bot. Lab. Un. Penns., III, p. 207, t. I (1911) ; in BAIL., Cycl., IV, p. 2127 (1919) ; MERR., Enum. Phil., II, p. 215 (1923) ; MACF., Phil. Journ. Sc., XXXIII, p. 132 (1927) ; N. surigaoensis ELM., Leafl., VIII, p. 2785 (1915) ; N. Merrillii ELM., Leafl., VIII, p. 2787 (1915).
Icon: Contr. Bot. Lab. Un. Penns., III, t. I (1911) optima, sine floribus.
Folia mediocria sessilia, lamina lineari-lanceolata, nervis longitudinalibus utrinque 6-7, basi in alas 2 decurrente ; ascidia rosularum ignota ; ascidia inferiora magna, ample ovata, operculum versus conica, alis 2 fimbriatis ; peristomio operculum versus acuminato, applanato v. expanso, 8-15 mm lato, costis c. 1 mm distantibus, dentibus c. tam longis quam latis ; operculo late ovato, facie inferiore plano v. basi obtusissime carinato ; ascidia superiora magna, ellipsoidea, costis 2 prominentibus ; peristomio operculum versus acuto, applanato v. expanso, 8-15 mm lato, costis c. 1 mm distantibus, dentibus c. tam longis quam latis ; operculo ovato, facie inferiore plano v. basi obtusissime carinato ; inflorescentia racemus grossus pedicellis inferioribus 30 mm longis 2-floris superioribus 1-floris ; indumentum in partibus vegetativis iuventute parcum arachnoideum, denique 0, in inflorescentiis parcum adpressum e pilis stellatis compositum.
Stems prostrate or climbing, the part with adult leaves obtusely triangular, 7 to 10 mm thick, the internodes l l/2 to 7 cm long. Rosettes unknown. Leaves of the climbing stems sessile, scattered, thin-coriaceous, linear-lanceolate, 20 to 60 cm long, 5 to 7 cm broad, obtuse or rounded at the apex, very gradually attenuate towards the base, the base about 2 cm broad, decurrent into 2 gradually attenuate wings over 1/2 to 1 internode ; pennate nerves running obliquely towards the margin, indistinct in the outer part of the lamina, irregularly reticulate ; longitudinal nerves 6 or 7 on each side, originating from the leaf base, running parallel in the outer 2/3 of the lamina ; tendrils of the lower leaves about as long as the leaf, without curl, coarse, about 1 1/2 to 2 mm thick near the lamina, 4 to 5 mm near the pitcher, those of the upper leaves longer and less thick, with curl, about 1 to 2 mm thick near the leaf, 2 to 3 mm in the curl. Pitchers of the lower leaves very shortly incurved from the hanging tendril, with broadly rounded base, widely ovate, conical towards the top, up to 20 cm high, up to 12 cm wide, with 2 fringed wings over the whole length, the wings about 10 mm broad, the fringe segments up to 7 mm long, 3 to 4 mm apart ; mouth oblique in front, incurved towards the lid, acuminate ; peristome flattened to expanded, about 8 to 15 mm broad, the ribs about 1 mm apart, the teeth of the interior margin on the average as long as broad ; inner surface of the pitcher wholly glandular, the glands numerous and small, overarched, about 2000 to 2500 on 1 cm2 ; lid broadly ovate, about 10 cm long and broad, the lower surface flat or very obtusely keeled, with not many minute, deepened, but not rimmed, glands ; spur filiform, not branched, inserted at some mm from the lid, about 12 mm long. Pitchers of the upper leaves almost like the lower ones, shortly incurved from the hanging end of the tendril, ellipsoidal, widest about the middle, 20 to 26 cm high, about 9 cm wide, with 2 prominent ribs over the whole length ; mouth oblique, acute towards the lid ; peristome flattened or expanded, 8 to 15 mm broad, the ribs about 1 mm apart, the teeth of the interior margin about as long as broad ; inner surface of the pitchers wholly glandular, the glands overarched, about 2000 to 2500 on 1 cm2 ; lid broadly ovate, more long than broad, the lower surface flat or broadly and obtusely keeled in the basal part of the midrib, with few small deepened, but not rimmed, glands ; spur like that of the lower pitchers. Male inflorescence not known. Female inflorescence a coarse raceme, the peduncle about 12 cm long, 5 mm thick, the axis about 20 cm long, attenuate, the lower pedicels about 30 mm long, the upper ones somewhat shorter, all of them without bract, almost all of them 2-flowered, the upper-most ones 1-flowered. Tepals lanceolate, acute, about 4 mm long. Ovary with a pedicel about 1 mm long, Fruit and seed unknown. Indumentum sparse, the vegetative parts arachnoideously hairy only in the youth, the inflorescence sparingly but distinctly hairy with appressed persistent stellate hairs, the ovary very densely hairy with such hairs. Colour of herbarium specimens yellowish-brown, the underside of the leaves reddish. (Description after RAMOS & PASCASIO 34503, see beneath.)
PHILIPPINE ISLANDS. Mindanao, Surigao Prov., IV 1919, RAMOS & PASCASIO 34503, H. B. (f) ; H. S. (0).
SELÉBÈS. Res. Manado: Gorontalo, RIEDEL, H. B. (0).
I have not seen the numbers HUTCHINSON 7545 and LYON 6, on which is based N. Merrilliana, but I have seen the number RAMOS & PASCASIO 34503, which, I do not doubt, agrees wholly with the original description and accessory plate and which is reckoned to this species by MACFARLANE in 1927, Among the plants of the Netherlands Indies there is one, which I will identify with N. Merrilliana, viz. that of Gorontalo, though this specimen shows deviations, the leaves are alternate in the upper portion of the stem and are shorter on the average (20 to 30 cm long) and more acute, and bear only 5 longitudinal nerves on each side, the peristome is more expanded, up to 35 mm broad, the teeth of the interior margin are longer, the inner surface of the pitcher is glandular for only 2/3 part. Yet I think this specimen to belong to this species and not to the nearly related N. insignis, from New Guinea.
The specimen on which ELMER based his N. surigaoensis is cited ELMER 12705 by the author himself. Probably this is wrong and the real number is ELMER 13705 ; MERRILL confirms this in Phil. Journ. Sc., XXXIII, p. 132, note. Now there is a fragment of this number in the Buitenzorg Herbarium which does not agree at all with the description of N. Merrilliana, nor with that of N. surigaoensis. This is elucidated by ELMER himself in the discussion of his new species: he has distributed under one and the same number two kinds of plants, on the first kind of which is based his description of N. surigaoensis, which seems identical with N. Merrilliana, whereas the second kind is a yet undescribed species. See N. petiolata.