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Pitcher plants

Pitcher plants are some of the most intriguing plants one can find on Mt. Kinabalu. To survive on the nutrient poor soils, they have pitcher shaped tendrils at the end of their leaves. These pitchers trap insects or gather bird droppings. These are decomposed in the liquid inside the pitcher and supply the plants with nutrients such as Nitrogen and Phosphorus.

Mount Kinabalu is home to 14 species of pitcher plants. Of these species, four are only known from Mount Kinabalu and the neighbouring Mount Tambuyukon. Nepenthes villosa and N. edwardsiana are found from 1600 to 3240m, while N. raja is found from 1500-3030m. N. burbidgeae is found at lower altitude, from 1100 to 2300m. Another interesting pitcher plant is the N. x kinabaluensis, which is a natural hybrid between N. villosa and N. rajah.

Nepenthes villosa

 

Nepenthes burbidgae (left) and Nepenthes edwardsiana (right)

 

Nepenthes x kinabaluensis