IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)


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Nepenthes maxima

Nepenthes maxima (/nɨˈpɛnθz ˈmæksɨmə/; from Latin: maximus "greatest"), the Great Pitcher-Plant,[3] is a carnivorous pitcher plant species of the genus Nepenthes. It has a relatively wide distribution covering Sulawesi, New Guinea, and the Maluku Islands. Nepenthes maxima belongs to the loosely defined "N. maxima complex", which also includes, among other species, N. boschiana, N. chaniana, N. epiphytica, N. eymae, N. faizaliana, N. fusca, N. klossii, N. platychila, N. stenophylla, and N. vogelii.[4]

Certain forms of N. maxima produce distinctly wavy laminar margins, a trait particularly common in plants from Sulawesi.[5][6] In extreme examples, even the decurrent wings of the leaf—which can extend down the entire length of the stem's internode—may be highly undulate.[7] Such rippled patterns result from increased cell growth near the edges of the leaf, which causes its thin, planar surface to buckle as it assumes the conformation with the lowest energy state.[8]

Nepenthes maxima Sulawesi7.jpgNepenthes maxima Sulawesi13.jpgMaximaupper1500.jpgMaxima11600.jpgNepmaxima14.jpgNepmaxima13.jpgNepenthes maxima11.jpgNepenthes New Guinea5.jpg
Nepenthes maxima exhibits extraordinary variability across its range, as evident in this selection of upper pitchers produced by plants from (left to right, top to bottom) Sulawesi at 400 m, Sulawesi at 700 m, New Guinea at 1500 m, New Guinea at 1600 m, New Guinea at 1700 m (two pitchers), New Guinea at 2300 m, and New Guinea at 2600 m.

Infraspecific taxa[edit source | edit]

In 2009, a cultivar from Lake Poso in Sulawesi was named Nepenthes maxima ‘Lake Poso’.[9]

Natural hybrids[edit source | edit]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. ^ Hooker, J.D. 1873. Nepenthaceae. In: A. de Candolle Prodromus Systematis Naturalis Regni Vegetabilis 17: 90–105.
  2. ^ Masters, M.T. 1887. New or noteworthy plants. Nepenthes Curtisii, Mast., sp. nov.. The Gardeners' Chronicle, series 3, 2(49): 681, 689.
  3. ^ Phillipps, A. & A. Lamb 1996. Pitcher-Plants of Borneo. Natural History Publications (Borneo), Kota Kinabalu.
  4. ^ Robinson, A.S., J. Nerz & A. Wistuba 2011. Nepenthes epiphytica, a new pitcher plant from East Kalimantan. In: McPherson, S.R. New Nepenthes: Volume One. Redfern Natural History Productions, Poole. pp. 36–51.
  5. ^ a b c d McPherson, S.R. 2009. Pitcher Plants of the Old World. 2 volumes. Redfern Natural History Productions, Poole.
  6. ^ [Anonymous] 2013. BE-3543 Nepenthes maxima - wavy leaf. PDF Nepenthes Growers Newsletter 2(2): 7–8.
  7. ^ Bourke, G. 2010. Plant profile: Nepenthes maxima. PDF Captive Exotics Newsletter 1(1): 9–10.
  8. ^ Sharon, E., M. Marder & H.L. Swinney 2004. Leaves, flowers and garbage bags: making waves. American Scientist 92(3): 254–261.
  9. ^ a b Evans, D.P. 2009. New Cultivars: Nepenthes maxima ‘Lake Poso’. Carnivorous Plant Newsletter 38(1): 18–22.
  10. ^ McPherson, S.R. & A. Robinson 2012. Field Guide to the Pitcher Plants of Sulawesi. Redfern Natural History Productions, Poole.

Further reading[edit source | edit]


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