Explore the largest rainforest in captivity. Trek through the humid tropics via SE Asia, West Africa and South America.
The water held by these plants is sometimes enjoyed by monkeys (hence one of the plant’s common names) and even parched humans looking for refreshment in the tropical heat! Look out for them growing in the 'Canopy plants' section of our Rainforest Biome.
Nepenthes pitcher plants are native to the Old World tropics, with the greatest diversity occurring around Borneo (Indonesia/Malaysia/Brunei) and Sumatra (Indonesia). The plant featured on this page is a cross (hybrid) of two highland species and is only known in cultivation. This hybrid requires a minimum temperature of 8.5°C in the winter and a maximum of 21°C in the summer, and ample moisture and high humidity throughout.
The pitchers of this plant trap insects that are then digested as food. Many pitcher plants (Nepenthes sp.) have modified leaves that can form a vase or pitcher-shaped vessel that produces a sweet syrupy secretion that attracts insects and dissolves them into nutritious goo that is then absorbed back into the plant. Although these plants mainly catch insects, some species have been known to catch animals as large as birds and small rodents.