Nepenthes ampullaria Jack, Malayan Misc. 2(7): 23 (1822)

Latin for 'flask or urn-shaped', referring to the shape of the pitcher.


The stem of N. ampullaria is light brown in colour and may climb to 15 m in height. Leaves are light green, up to 25 cm long, and 6 cm wide. Pitchers are produced at the ends of short tendrils no more than 15 cm long. The urceolate pitchers are generally quite small, rarely exceeding 10 cm in height and 7 cm in width. The peristome is greatly incurved, with the inner section accounting for around 85% of its total cross-sectional surface length. Upper pitchers are very rarely produced and are considerably smaller than those formed on rosettes or offshoots. Pitchers range in colouration from light green throughout to completely dark red, with many intermediate forms recorded. The pitchers of N. ampullaria from Sumatra and Peninsular Malaysia are almost exclusively green throughout or green with red speckles; the red forms are mostly confined to Borneo. A large-pitchered form has been recorded from New Guinea. The inflorescence of N. ampullaria is a dense panicle. It is the only Nepenthes species recorded from Sumatra or Peninsular Malaysia that produces paniculate inflorescences. All parts of the plant are densely covered with short, brown hairs when young. The indumentum of mature plants is more sparse, except on the inflorescenes. [Wikipedia]

Growing in damp, shady forest from sea-level to 2100 m altitude. In Borneo, it occurs usually on relatively flat terrain in kerangas forest, peat swamp forest, and degraded swamp forest, at elevations of 0 to 1000 m. In Sumatra and Peninsular Malaysia, it grows from sea-level to 1100 m altitude on flat terrain in heath forest, padang (meaning "field" in Malay), belukar, peat swamp forest, degraded swamp forest, and in padi fields. In New Guinea, it is predominantly present in Araucaria forests. The species has also been recorded from secondary forests, open microphyllous vegetation, and swamp grassland.This species, unlike other members of its genus, has evolved away from carnivory and the plants are partly detritivores, collecting and digesting falling leaf litter in their pitchers.

Thailand to New Guinea.

Local names
English: Flask-Shaped Pitcher-Plant.