Newly added Species: Nepenthes Robcantleyi
About a month ago, a new species was added to the growing list of Nepenthes species; N. Robcantleyi. For those that do not know, there is a long history to this special cultivar. Originally, this species used to be a cultivar form of a common nepenthes, Nepenthes Truncata. This once named cultivar was found a top a tall, misty mountain in the tropics region where Nepenthes originate from. A expedition was planned up to the mountain in the late 80′s to see what types of Nepenthes lived up there. Once they reached the top, the Nepenthes experts from Borneo Exotics Inc. found a Nepenthes Truncata that was way darker than any other of the normal specimens observed in cultivation. The big Nepenthes was lofted in the notch of a high tree. Since the plant was flowering female, the experts decided to collect seeds from it, and headed back down to the nursery. Many years later seven dark seedlings were chosen out of the seed batch and have since been raised to big tall plants. Each plant was given a cultivar name like N. Truncata ‘king of clubs” and so forth. The two most interesting Nepenthes, N. Truncata “Queen of Hearts” and N. Truncata “King of Spades”, decided to flower. Now, their colorful and sought after offspring have been spread to growers all around the world, including me.
N. Truncata “Queen of Hearts” pictured below
N. Truncata “King of Spades” pictured below
A regular Nepenthes Truncata pasain, pictured below
Now that I have said the history of this special Nepenthes form, its time to get down to facts. Since this form of Nepenthes has been announced a new species, a big argument has arose between the two biggest Nepenthes distributers in the world and has everyone wondering, should this plant stay a species, or go back to cultivar status? In my opinion, the only way to confirm anything is to have each of the seven Nepenthes DNA tested along side a normal truncata as a control. The difference’s in the chromosome numbers should prove if this special form is a species, or just a cultivar. Never the less, I recommend that growers purchase the man made hybrid of this Truncata form (N. Truncata QoH X KoS) as it will be revealing some unique characteristics once all the cultivated seedlings mature.
- Lance Plater
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