Nepenthes rowanae

Photography Rod Kruger © copyright 2004

Recently reinstated as a species, and now Australias’ first endemic pitcher plant, Nepenthes rowanae was first described as a species by the Australian botanist F.M. Bailey, in the late 1800s. This description was based on a lone pitcher collected in the remote areas of Cape York Peninsula. It was by observations of this pitcher that B.H Danser, in his revision of the genus in the 1920’s, assumed that this was nothing more than an aberrant growth form of N. mirabilis. It was unfortunate that more specimens of this plant were not available to either botanist at the time they made scientific observations of this plant.

N rowanae was not knowingly observed again until very recently, where stable and distinct populations were located across a restricted range in Far North Queensland.

Populations are separated by environmental boundaries, and distinctive shape and colour variations exist between them.

N rowanae has several morphological features that distinguish it from the related N. mirabilis, and these variations are very striking when the plants are observed growing side by side in habitat.


ELEVATION: 0-100 meters

This plant requires typical lowland conditions, and will thrive in high humidity and temperatures. It is mildly tolerant of occasional lower temperatures, and exhibits seasonal growth. The root system forms a large tuber, and this is a survival mechanism for regrowth following fire, which is a common occurrence in the plants natural habitat. Plants have the tendency to die off during less than ideal conditions and shoot from the rhizome when favourable conditions return. Very difficult to strike from cuttings

SCALE: 1-5 (1-easy, 5-challenging)

rowanae b
rowanae d rowanae a rowanae x
rowanae y rowanae e
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