Nepenthes 'plumbing'

apg4April 19, 2013

I've had a neps for several years (alata, I think....) and it is doing just fine. It winters in a greenhouse that stays above 50F and the plant and never really went dormant last fall/winter. It's growing luxuriantly now and producing numerous pitchers as well.

The question is an esoteric one: can the plant 'recycle' or make use of the fluid in the pitchers in a time of drought? Can the fluid flow be bi-directional? I'm sure there are occasional droughts, even high up in their native, rain forest environment. Having such reservoirs or built-in 'canteens' would be a remarkable genetic adaptation.

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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Hi
Interesting ?? Would suppose the reason that there are so many species is that each has adapted to a narrow micro-climate ?? Certainly works that way with temp tolerance. Certainly don't see the extreme adaptations you see in other epiphytic plants such as orchids or epicactus where the leaves are modified to store water
maybe some really wise person will jump in and give us an answer?? lol gary

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 3:34AM
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apg4

Thanks for the reply...I'm thinking that maybe the carnivorous aspect of nepenthes and other arborial pitcher species is secondary. Water retention was originally the primary purpose and having a free lunch was just secondary, evolving over time to become primary. Many bromeliads store water and that becomes a nice 'insect soup' that the plant can harvest when need be.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 10:30AM
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