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Just a quick post on a newly described pitcher plant endemic to the Philippines.

Nepenthes ramos. Drawn by Andrew Brown from [1].

Nepenthes ramos. Drawn by Andrew Brown from [1].

M. Cheek and M. Jebb while in the process of making a World Monograph of Nepenthes, looked at museum specimens of pitcher plants.  They had described a lot of species from the Philippines already. Cheek is from of the Royal Botanic Garden in Kew, Surrey, England and Jebb is from the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin, Ireland.

Nepenthes ramos is one of the latest species that they discovered [1].

They said that this species differ from other species because: 1) the upper pitchers lacks fringed wings; 2) the peristome (toothlike appendages) is flattened instead of cylindrical; 3) the lower surface of the lid with strongly dimorphic nectar glands are not uniformed and; 4) the inflorescences (flowers) with partial stalks are 2 flowered instead of 1.

This pitcher plant is named after Maximo Ramos of the then Bureau of Science. Ramos was an expert plant explorer and an excellent collector of specimens.

The sad news is that this plant is known only from Surigao Province in Mindanao and have not been seen since 1919 or about a century ago.  It is feared to be extinct as recent expeditions had not found any N. ramos.

//Last Aug. 22, M. Cheek and M. Jebb added 2 species of Nepenthes again [2]. They resurrect N. graciliflora and recognize N. negros as a new species. I’m behind paywall but I guess N. negros came from the Negros island. Probably we know the story behind these new species: 1) that they are from museum specimens; 2) that they are not seen since the last century; and 2) that they are more likely extinct. I sure hope I’m wrong.//

The country boasts of an amazing diversity of pitcher plants and could well be the center of species diversity for this plant.


[1] Cheek, M., & Jebb, M (2013). Nepenthes ramos (Nepenthaceae), a new species from Mindanao, Philippines Willdenowia (43), 107-111 DOI: 10.3372/wi.43.43112

[2] Cheek, M, & Jebb, M (2013). Typification and redelimitation of Nepenthes alata with notes on the N. alata group, and N. negros sp. nov. from the Philippines Nordic Journal of Botany DOI: 10.1111/j.1756-1051.2012.00099.x