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Thread: Two widely variable nepenthes

  1. #9
    rattler's Avatar
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    personally i believe all this stuff falls into us trying to interprit what nature is doing. short of large scale genetic testing i believe alot of this stuff will be debated over for the rest of our lives. i realize that the color morphs of ball pythons i brought up was probably way over simplified compared to the pitcher structure of Nepenthes. but it was a nice try

    Rattler

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  2. #10

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    Actually, rattler, it was a valid comparison. I agree with you about describing nature. Naming organisms is a part of describing nature, and nature doesn't always fit into nice neat little cubby holes. But, it is the best way we humans can communicate.

    Trent

  3. #11

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    Thanks for your imput, all! I was also hoping for some imput from Rob and Tony and Chien though... [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif[/img]

  4. #12
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    There have been lots of good responses already and I am far from a qualified taxonomist.

    Taxonomists use a variety of features to determine relationships between different populations of plants. The issue is what features do they use and at what point do you decide a plant is different enough from the type specimen to call it something else. A number of Nepenthes features are fairly stable, such as the gland under the lid. The highest priority is placed on the features which show the greatest stability across the population. These particular features may not be something we would recognize quickly such as gland structure, density and placement in the pitcher. Taxonomists also don't always agree on which features are best to use and at which point different plants should be considered different species.. hence the periodic revisions! If you want to know more just read an entry in one of Charles Clarkes Nepenthes books and you will see the latin description detailing the many aspects of each plant species, which is carefully documented for comparison.

    My hats off to the taxonomists with the incredible tedious and time consuming work trying to study dozens of different details in an effort to define and extrapolate the relationship between all the plants and animals out there.
    T
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  5. #13

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    I wasn't going to say anything either because I'm an electronics engineer that just happens to have field experience with Nepenthes. I have however spent quite some time with taxonomists and can say that the responses to the original question in this thread are pretty much right as far as I can tell.

    In the 1980's I found a lot of variety in N. rafflesiana in a particular part of Brunei. I used the terms 'nivea' 'nigropurpurea' to describe extremes of coloration and 'elongata' and 'gigantea' to describe some of the forms. I sort of made these names up with guidance from some student botanists (a very young Charles Clarke amongst them). They may have been used before and are probably not scientifically valid, but they stuck and so far as I know in horticultural circles we can call things pretty much what we want, although I feel we have a responsibility to try to be scientificaly accurate whereever we can.

    Regarding N. alata, a look though the old herbarium sheets at the Manila Herbarium makes it pretty evident that in the old days in the Philippines, if they didn't know what a Nepenthes was, they just called it N. alata. Remember that a lot of Nepenthes were discovered by botanists whose area of expertise was elsewhere, such as ferns, or even ornithologists who were amateur botanists, e.g Bertram E. Smythies (or was it the other way around?).

    The N. alata from Sibuyan I thought was probably a distinct species when I found it. I still think it may be but until we get a male flower to examine we can't be entirely sure - so it' stays as N. alata, Sibuyan form for now.

    N. sanguinea hybridises readily with N. macfalanei and N. ramispina (depending upion whether it comes from the Genting or Cameron Highlands). I think that hybridisation is what gives rise to the different forms. Coloration is not important as has already been pointed out.

    So, there you go! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]
    Rob Cantley
    Nep Nut in Sri Lanka
    http://www.borneoexotics.com

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    That's right Rob. Down at about 1000m in Genting Highlands where N. sanguinea only grows with N. gracilis, there is no mistake about N. sanguinea.

    At the top of Genting Highlands where all the three species: N. macfarlanei, N. ramispina and N. sanguinea grow side by side (see pixs from thread
    http://www.**********.com/cgi-bin....=11220)
    their hybriding can make identification difficult.

    So if N. sanguinea had crossed with N. macfarlanei and its descendants then mate back with N. sanguinea, do you still consider the descendants as a species? Ie, do you consider a Chinese with a great grandmother still a Chinese?

    Choong

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    For those of us living in lowland type environments, the 1000 meter sanguineas are of great interest.
    Choong, what does the lowest growing sanguinea typically look like?

    Trent

  8. #16

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    Trent,

    I didn't take any pictures at the 1000m site. Sven and Guenter did. But both the greenish type and the red are available. Of course the greenish variety are more common. I have seen a few red plants with 20 cm pitchers.

    Choong

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