Thanks for you patience, I hope the wait is worth your while.
Early in January, I received a PM from Guenter Seiter of Austria asking me to guide him and his German pal Sven Wartner to Genting. They wanted to see the nepenthes of Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia in March.
I agreed, provided they get me a cephalotus and also give me a digital copy of the pictures they took.
They arrived in Kuala Lumpur on 18 March, after spending 2 weeks in Borneo. Late that afternoon, I took them to Bukit Antarabangsa to look for lowland N. sanguinea. The place that I knew had N. gracilis and N. mirabilis have been fenced up for a housing project. We searched the nearby hills but found only one N. gracilis plant. But they were more fascinated by the howling Silverleaf monkeys.
Early next morning we drove to Genting Highlands. GH is about 45 minutes by car from KL. Our first stop was Bukit Antarabangsa which is 11km from GH. There we found N. mirablis, N. gracilis and N. sanguinea growing together. The pitchers from this mirablis are much bigger than the lowland variety.
We then backtracked to GH. We stopped at Awana. At 1000m, it is full of N. sanguinea. Guenter and Sven were really excited. There must be few hundreds of them. N. gracilis is also found here. But we managed to find only one N. ramispina plant. After two hours, we found no N. sanguinea seeds. We did find a very big 'mama' sanguinea which have alot of seedlings and a N. gracilis with pitchers close to 20cm. I took a cutting and hope it will grow. Interestingly, the mama plant and the big N. gracilis plant are found on wet and soggy area.
We broke for lunch at Gohtong Jaya. For two person who don't eat Chinese in their homelands, they really enjoyed the spicy lunch.
It was after three-thirty when we got up to G. Ulu Kali. The summit of Genting is now a sprawling entertainment/theme-park/hotel/casino complex. Much of the mossy forest that I used to know is gone. By the time we got to the spot that we were tipped to have N. ramispina and N. macfarlanei heavy rain fell. While waiting for the thunderstorm to clear we shared notes on the growing of nepenthes. They told me they were impressed with the nursery facilities at Malesiana Tropicals. But equally, with all the experts working for them, they also saw MT lost alot of plants!
It was 5 o' clock when we were deciding whether to leave or stay, the rain eased to light drizzles. We put on our raincoats to explore the area. We weren't disappointed. Just about 50 m where we parked our car, we found N. ramispina. And then there is a whole cliff-face of N. ramispina. Just like a little nursery. As we moved deeper into the trail, we found more N. ramispina, its hybids and then N. marfarlanei. All these are at ground level. Further in we also found a number of N. sanguinea. In many cases, these plants are growing side by side. There are adult plants and there are tiny seedlings.
We keep looking for plants with seeds. We found many plants with flowers. There are a few places that have both male and female plants growing side by side. By the end of the trail, Guenter and Sven managed to find seeds from two N. sanguinea, one N. ramispina and one hybrid plants. By seven-thirty, we called it a day. Guenter and Sven were happy that they managed to see the three endemic nepenthes and collected seeds from two. They made me promised to collect seeds for them in a few months time.
The rain and the fading light didn't give us much chance to photograph the plants. But I did return twice to photograph the plants, once to watch a performance of Beijing Chinese Opera with my family and another to send my daughter and her friends to attend a pop concert.
This site at 1645m with so many plants is currently secured. But for how long? Just about 200 m away is a condominium. And there are many development works nearby. The place offers a very grand view. My bet is in another ten years this place will be developed and the plants will be gone!
This N. ramispina is found only about 50 m where we parked our car.
N. ramispina found at the nearby cliff-face. Note the seedlings nearby.
Another N. ramispina found on ground level. Note the black coloration.
Intermediate pitcher, N. ramispina
Upper pitcher, mostly green in colour
N. macfarlanei at the base of cliff-face. Note the decaying plant matters gathered around the plant. Often the pitchers are buried in the humus.
A fully formed lower pitcher and a juvenile pitcher of N. macfarlanei. Generally, the pitchers here are smaller then those I saw in Gunung Brinchang.
Upper pitcher, N. macfarlanei
Side profile of another upper pitcher, N. macfarlanei.
TO BE CONTINUED (picture restrictions)