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Nepenthes

ventricosa
Nepenthes ventricosa is a variable species, easy to grow in a windowsill or
terrarium, and an ideal beginner’s Nepenthes. It’s an intermediate-to-highland
species growing around 2000 meters above sea level in the Philippines.
Generally, highland species prefer daytime temperatures in the 70s°F (24°C)
and evening temperature drops into the 50s and 60s°F (10-16C) (do avoid frost
as it will damage or kill highland plants). N. ventricosa, however, is a pretty
forgiving plant and will do well even with milder temperature swings.

Nepenthes ventricosa remains fairly compact, with narrow, shorter leaves,


medium-length tendrils, and plump, meaty pitchers. Stems branch and
scramble, and frequently sprout basal shoots. All of these factors eventually
adds up to a small carnivorous bush, dozens of pitchers, and one heck of a
display.
Other notable characteristics

Obviously, Nepenthes ventricosa got sick of us pointing out its gut, so it hit the
gym in an effort to impress us with dainty upper pitchers. Upper pitchers are
usually green-yellow, smaller, and more slender. Good job, ventricosa. Good
job.

Petioles on this species are medium-length, slender, and terminate in tendrils up


to a foot long. Flowers are densely-packed, and colorful.

In the wild, Nepenthes ventricosa naturally hybridizes with N. alata to produce N.


ventrata (clever name, eh?). This is one of the most
common Nepenthes circulated in cultivation and, arguably, even heartier
than N. ventricosa itself.
Trap characteristics

Nepenthes ventricosa pitchers look like they have beer bellies. They’re bulbous
with a rounded digestive lower half, a tapered (read: sucked in) waste, and a
large, oval mouth. This mouth is lined with a gorgeous, tightly ridged, pink-to-red
peristome. Pitcher wings are noticeably missing on plants larger than seedlings,
which plays further into the bare beer belly analogy (just needs a little belly
button drawn on it).

Nepenthes ventricosa is quite variable when it comes to pitcher structure and


coloration. The lower pitchers, as described above, can be a pink hue with red
splotches, green with pink splotches, or variations in-between. Some, like N.
ventricosa“porcelain” are an attractive shade of white. Pitcher size varies from
around 4 inches (10.5 cm) up to 9 inches (23 cm).