Synonyms:N. hemsleyana Macfarl.; N. hookeriana Low ex Becc. Distribution: Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Borneo, Sumatra Altitudinal distribution: 0-1200 m Typical habitats: open, sandy, wet areas, kerangas and peat swamp forests Pitcher size: up to 15 cm high, 5 cm wide (giant form up to 40 cm!)
Typical lower and upper pitchers of Nepenthes rafflesiana.
Nepenthes rafflesiana is an unusually variable plant.
While only few forms are formally described pitcher shape and colour can vary so wide that the
extremes look like completely different species. Lower and upper pitchers differ very much.
Constant in all forms are the shape of the lid and of the peristome which ends in a long neck
at the back and is largest just below the lid. In upper pitchers it is characteristically raised
in the front part.
N. rafflesiana var. alata Adam & Wilcock
Winged tendrils can sometimes be found in N. rafflesiana. The
lamina is continued along the tendril and fuses with the wings. Plants showing this
marked and consistently are called var. alata.
N. rafflesiana var. elongata Hort.
Var. elongata is clearly more slender.
Pitchers are as wide as the ones of the normal form but up to four times longer.
N. rafflesiana "giant form"
The giant form (until now not formally described) is one of the most
impressive of all pitcher plants. Pitchers can be up to 40 cm high. Other characteristics are the
typical pitcher shape and the reddish hairs covering the youngest leaf.
Though the different variations can mix they usually stay apart even
if they grow together. Exceptions can result in very interesting plants.
The pitchers are often visited by ants but the plant seems not to be specialised
in prey. The pitcher fluid is of a conspicuously viscous consistence.
Nepenthes rafflesiana is a common plant in lowland areas of northwestern
Borneo, especially in Brunei. It can be found as a pioneer in many degraded areas with wet, sandy
soils, usually accompanied by N. gracilis. Other typical habitats are kerangas (heath)
and peat swamp forests. Geographical distribution ranges from peninsular Malaysia and Singapore
to Borneo and Sumatra.
Described forms are:
Known natural hybrids are: x bicalcarata, x gracilis, x ampullaria, x mirabilis.