Wednesday, March 23, 2005

What we came to check out for -Monkey''s Pot

Don't ask me the scientific name of this plant, (cannot remember) but i came to revisit Puaka to check on the "health" of this plants to ensure that it is still striving in the hills of Puaka.

Monkey's pot -close up Posted by Hello

1 comment:

Pat said...

The scientific name of this "Monkey Pot" -- as shown in your photos (Image 1, Image 2) -- is Nepenthes gracilis (Slender Pitcher Plant) -- reference images. Specifically, both your photos show the upper pitcher.

This is is the most common native Nepenthes species in S'pore, followed by N. rafflesiana & N. ampullaria, as well as natural hybrids between these 3 native species.

* Image 1: The leaves are slightly sun-burnt, as indicated by the reddish spots.

* Very Interesting Image 2: Did you notice that there is another plant entangled with the Nepenthes gracilis plant ?

The orangey-yellow, string-like coils are the tendrils of a climbing/ scrambling semi-parasitic plant known as Cassytha filiformis (Devil's Gut, Dodder Laurel).

A native species, Cassytha filiformis prefers woody plants, but can also be found on herbaceous hosts. In your photo, the Cassytha filiformis might not be feeding on the Nepenthes gracilis itself, but on the woody-looking host which is supporting both plants.

It is dependent on the host plant for physical support, nutrients & water. Its long tangling stems/ tendrils are orange, yellow or green, & bear suckers that attach themselves to the host plant. Its leaves are very tiny & reduced to minute scales (0.5-2 by 0.5-0.75 mm).

* Photos (Plant Observatory Sg)
* Info & photos (Wild Singapore Factsheets)

A similar-looking semi-parasitic plant also present in S'pore is Cuscuta australis (Australian or Southern Dodder) -- reference images.

Within the Asia-Pacific region, Cuscuta australis is native to India, China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea & Australia -- but otherwise regarded as exotic to S'pore. Locally, it is more commonly found at disturbed sites & wastelands.

This semi-parasitic plant prefers feeding on herbaceous shrubs & its prominent, bright yellow stems can be seen scrambling over the latter. In contrast, its leaves are very small (1-2 mm), located at the base, & thus inconspicuous.