Suvarna Garge (Editor)

Nepenthes holdenii

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Scientific name
Nepenthes holdenii



Nepenthes holdenii surrounded by plants

Nepenthes chang, Nepenthes kerrii, Nepenthes gantungensis, Nepenthes andamana, Nepenthes hamiguitanensis

Nepenthes holdenii planta p nis

Nepenthes holdenii is a tropical pitcher plant from western Cambodia, where it grows at elevations of 600–800 m above sea level. The species was originally known from only two peaks in the Cardamom Mountains, but the discovery of a new population was reported in October 2011. Seeds were collected in 2014 and the species was successfully introduced into cultivation.


A man's hand holding Nepenthes holdenii

Discovery Of Nepenthes Holdenii

Nepenthes holdenii is a newly rediscovered species of carnivorous pitcher plant from the mountains of Cambodia. It was first discovered in the 19th century and named Nepenthes thorelii. However, the plant was renamed holdenii after its rediscovery by photographer and botanist James Holden, in 2006. Holden has contributed greatly to wildlife knowledge in Southeast Asia, particularly Cambodia.

Nepenthes holdenii planta carn vora con forma de pene

How Nepenthes Holdenii Grows And Survives

Nepenthes holdenii has red and green pitchers that can grow up to 30 cm long. These pitchers are modified leaves that the plant uses to trap and digest insects. The carnivorous nature of the plant enables it to absorb additional nutrients in otherwise nutrient-lacking soil, especially during Cambodia’s long and harsh dry season.

Nepenthes holdenii Nepenthes holdenii

Nepenthes holdenii thrives in areas prone to droughts and fires, both of which are common in Cambodia during the dry season. The plant takes advantage of the areas cleared by the fire by growing tubers underground. The tuber survives the fire because it’s underground, and then sprouts new pitchers when the fire has passed.

The plant only grows in humid climates high in the mountains. It also typically grows on steep ridges in peaty soil. Peat is the top layer of soil which consists of decomposed organic matter.

Despite its ability to survive in harsh Cambodian dry seasons, the plant is listed as an endangered species. This is mainly because its natural habitat is threatened by expanding farmlands, private construction, and the tourism industry.

Nepenthes Holdenii Popularity

Nepenthes holdenii Nepenthes holdenii

The Nepenthes holdenii pitcher plant became popular on social media in May 2022. The plant has been dubbed the “penis plant” due to its resemblance to an erect penis. Locals and tourists alike have been trekking up the mountain to pick the pitcher plants and take selfies holding them.

The Cambodian government has urged people to stop picking the pitcher plant because of its endangered status. The Ministry of Environment even released a statement requesting people to leave the plant alone. The ministry recommended that if people want to show their admiration of the Nepenthes holdenii, they should leave it growing for others to appreciate.


Nepenthes holdenii Wikipedia

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