PITCHER PLANT Nepenthes chaniana
Nepenthes chaniana is a tropical pitcher plant species belonging to the genus Nepenthes. It is characterized by a dense indumentum of long, white hairs. Pitchers are cylindrical and mostly white to yellow in colouration.
The type specimen of N. chaniana was collected by Charles Clarke on Mount Alab, the highest peak in Crocker Range National Park.
Nepenthes species usually consist of a shallow root system and a prostrate or climbing stem. The pitcher starts as a small bud and gradually expands to form a globe- or tube-shaped trap.
The trap contains a fluid of the plant's own production, which may be watery or syrupy, and is used to drown the prey. Research has shown this fluid contains viscoelastic biopolymers that may be crucial to the retention of insects within the traps of many species. The trapping efficiency of this fluid remains high, even when significantly diluted by water, as inevitably happens in wet conditions.
The lower part of the trap contains glands which absorb nutrients from captured prey. Along the upper inside part of the trap is a slick, waxy coating which makes the escape of its prey nearly impossible. Surrounding the entrance to the trap is a structure called the peristome (the "lip") which is slippery, attracting prey, but offering an unsure footing.
Hardiness zones: 9-11 planted outdoors, or grown indoors.
Seeds per pack: 5
Germination: These seeds germinate best on dampened sphagnum moss. Soak the moss for 1 hour, then gently squeeze out excess water, but allow some moisture to remain (not dripping). Place the moss in a container, and sprinkle the seeds on top. Cover the container with plastic to retain moisture. Place the container in very bright light, and in a very warm location, ideally 32C, 90F. Once the small plants begin to grow, slowly open the plastic a little each day. Use rain water or bottled water (use a spritz bottle while plants are small) to regularly water plants, but do not leave them standing on water. Once plants are large enough to transplant, a growing mix consisting of equal parts peat moss, perlite, vermiculite and sphagnum moss (long fibre type) can be used. Seeds germinate anywhere from 1 month, to 12 months. Patience is needed, but they are worth the effort for this unique plant!