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Thread: Upper/Lower Pitchers

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    Formerly known as Pineapple Nepenthesis's Avatar
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    Upper/Lower Pitchers

    I hear people saying things like, "The upper pitchers on this should look super nice!" and I feel stupid not knowing what they mean.

    I did some reading and apparently the theory is that upper pitchers are designed to catch flying bugs and lower pitchers are designed to catch crawling bugs. Do they look different? If so, is it in shape, color, size, etc? How do I know I'm looking at an upper pitcher versus a lower pitcher? How tall does a nep need to be before it starts producing "upper pitchers?"

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    sarracenia lover dionae's Avatar
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    N rajah lower



    N rajah upper



    Plant with both lower and upper pitchers


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    Plant Addict!! tje25's Avatar
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    Good question!.. I'm curious about some of this as well.

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    31drew31's Avatar
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    Lowers are produced when the plant is still in a rosette like stage, when they start to vine they will create uppers. Most have different shapes, but some look quite similar.

    N. inermis lower: http://www.brutalablommor.se/gfx/gal...rmis100216.jpg

    Upper: http://home.arcor.de/bart.w/Galerie3/5.jpg

    N lowii lower: http://www.cascadecarnivores.com/ima...iitrusmadi.jpg

    Upper: http://thegreenvision.files.wordpres...thes-lowii.jpg

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    Formerly known as Pineapple Nepenthesis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dionae View Post
    N rajah lower

    N rajah upper

    Plant with both lower and upper pitchers
    They both look about the same height from the ground. How can you tell which is upper/lower? And they don't look very different to me...


    ---------- Post added at 05:54 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:53 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by 31drew31 View Post
    Lowers are produced when the plant is still in a rosette like stage, when they start to vine they will create uppers. Most have different shapes, but some look quite similar.

    N. inermis lower: http://www.brutalablommor.se/gfx/gal...rmis100216.jpg

    Upper: http://home.arcor.de/bart.w/Galerie3/5.jpg

    N lowii lower: http://www.cascadecarnivores.com/ima...iitrusmadi.jpg

    Upper: http://thegreenvision.files.wordpres...thes-lowii.jpg
    That explains it a bit better. Do most neps have upper pitchers that look like that, or just those species?
    Last edited by Nepenthesis; 01-06-2012 at 07:03 PM.

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    Lover of Mountains nightsky's Avatar
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    On most neps, the lower pitchers and upper pitchers will indeed look different. The lower pitchers are made while the nep is still short. As it starts to vine, you may get a couple pitchers that are intermediate (kind of a blend between upper and lower), and then once it's vining, normally all pitchers made will be uppers.

    Usually, the lowers are larger, have ladders or wings on the front of the pitcher which insects can crawl up, and sometimes are more colorful. The tendril will attach from the side. The uppers can be smaller, usually don't have wings, usually aren't as colorful, and can have an elegant wine glass or goblet shape, or trumpet type shape. The tendril attaches from the rear.

    Note that this is in general, there are exceptions to the above, ie having colorful/large uppers, etc. On some, the uppers are more spectacular then the lowers. Just depends.

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    31drew31's Avatar
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    Take a look at my post Pineapple, shows some good changes in pitcher structure. Also tendrils of upper pitcher make a loop to grab onto a nearby branch before the pitcher inflates.

    All pitchers have different characteristics, but lowii is one that has a massive change.

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    cpsammich's Avatar
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    when the plant starts to vine it will transition with intermediates, which a an in-between that looks like a mix of the two, and then form uppers
    uppers will form a loop in the tendril to support itself on a branch or something, are longer and skinnier, and generally more awesome looking

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