Nepenthes truncata × ephippiata
Description & Care
Nepenthes truncata × ephippiata is an absolute monster of a plant. Despite not yet reaching its full size, mine has the biggest leaf span of anything in my greenhouse. The woody part of the stem is about as thick as my thumb, and the plant produces some of the largest pitchers I’ve ever grown. Other growers report that this plant routinely catches mice and rats in their greenhouses, and it’s easy to see why. Jeremiah’s looks like a tree, and that was years ago!
To my knowledge, this cross has only ever been done by Exotica Plants of Australia. I got mine as an unrooted basal cutting about 5 years ago, and it’s grown vigorously ever since. It’s not a fussy grower: give it lots of light and fertiliser, keep it fairly warm and humid, and it grows like a triffid. My plant - which is fairly typical of the cross, from what I’ve seen - produces huge green pitchers with red-and-yellow striped peristomes that darken to deep red as they age. The big vaulted lids produce copious amounts of sweet white exudate, much like the male parent N. ephippiata.
Overall, it’s quite similar to the more famous (and recently recreated) N. lowii x truncata and the reverse cross. The main differences seem to be less prominent striping on the peristome, less dramatically constricted / distorted uppers, and a bigger lid. It’s a great plant, and if you’ve got the space and inclination to hunt one down, I’d highly recommended it!
How I Grow It
|Media||Seems unfussy - I grow it in my usual sphagnum mix - but it's a fast grower and soon needs a huge pot.|
|Water||Damp but not wet. Drinks a lot during summer, especially if humidity drops.|
|Light||Very bright, diffused light|
|Fertilizer||Can take a lot - I fill the pitchers with Maxsea / liquid orchid feed every couple of weeks.|
|Temperature||12°C (54°F) minimum year-round, with summer highs of ~ 30°C (86°F)|
|Humidity||70% during the day, rising to over 90% at night|
Learn more about cultivation with my guide to growing Nepenthes.
Day & Night Temperatures
The female parent - Nepenthes truncata - is a widely distributed species found at elevations of between 0 and 1500 meters. The male parent - Nepenthes ephippiata - is a highland species found at elevations of between 1300 and 2000 meters.
On average, the hybrid N. truncata x ephippiata is likely to grow best with temperatures of approximately 23 - 32°C (74 - 89°F) during the day, and 13 - 22°C (56 - 71°F) at night. This range is highlighted in purple above.
Where to Buy
|Availability||Not in tissue culture, and not created recently to my knowledge, so only available from cuttings. Very hard to find.|
|Borneo Exotics codes||
Visit www.californiacarnivores.com and get 10% off by using code tomscarnivores.
Visit sphagnum.co.uk and get 10% off by using code TOMS10%.