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Nepenthes rowaniae facts for kids

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Nepenthes rowaniae
Nepenthes rowanae1.jpg
A juvenile N. rowaniae plant
Conservation status
Scientific classification
  • Nepenthes mirabilis
    auct. non (Lour.) Rafarin: Danser (1928) [=N. mirabilis/N. rowaniae]
  • Nepenthes rowanae
    F.M.Bailey (1897)
    [original spelling]

Nepenthes rowaniae ( after Ellis Rowan, Australian naturalist and illustrator) is a species of pitcher plant endemic to the Cape York Peninsula, Australia. It is closely related to N. mirabilis and was once considered an extreme form of this species.


Nepenthes rowanae FMBailey
Bailey's original illustration of an N. rowaniae pitcher, published in 1897

Between 1881 and 1905, Frederick Manson Bailey described 11 species of Nepenthes from northern Australia, all of which were placed in synonymy with N. mirabilis by B. H. Danser in 1928. The only taxon which Danser considered to possess morphological characters atypical of N. mirabilis was N. rowaniae. He wrote:

"Of all these I have seen the type or at least authentic specimens, but they are nearly all mere growth forms of N. mirabilis. Only N. rowanae shows a character not yet met with in N. mirabilis, viz. campanulate-infundibuliform upper pitchers. A similar aberration, however, is often met with in several allied species and is certainly insufficient for specific distinction."

However, field observations carried out between 2001 and 2003 "showed that N. rowanae]. Carnivorous Plant Database.</ref>

Differences between N. mirabilis and N. rowaniae (Clarke & Kruger, 2005)
Character N. mirabilis N. rowaniae
Morphology of leaf blade Acute to rounded Contracted towards the apex, then continuing along the tendril as a narrow, acute, extension
Insertion of tendril to leaf blade Simple Peltate
Pitcher wings Simple, bearing multicellular fringe elements Often flattened at front, forming a T-shape in XS, multicellular fringe elements often present
Leaf blade texture Usually chartaceous Strongly coriaceous
Leaf blade attachment to stem Simple, or rarely decurrent for ⅓ the length of the internode Decurrent for at least ½ the length of the internode, usually more
Gland density in lower portion of pitcher 1600-2500 / cm² Approximately 3600 / cm²
Position of pitcher hip in upper pitchers Mid-way, to lower half Upper quarter
Position of pitcher hip in lower pitchers Lower third to quarter Immediately beneath peristome


According to the ICBN, the correct spelling of this taxon's name is Nepenthes rowaniae, as the epithet is based on the personal name Rowan. There is only one correct way to form this epithet (in the genitive: Rec 60C.1.b.) and the resulting correct spelling is mandatory; any usage of the spelling rowanae is to be corrected to rowaniae (Art 60.11). However, the literature tends to use Nepenthes rowanae, instead.

Natural hybrids

  • Bateman, D. 2011. Scientists combing Cape York for new carnivorous plant. The Cairns Post, April 29, 2011.
  • Clarke, C.M & R. Kruger 2006. Nepenthes tenax C.Clarke and R.Kruger (Nepenthaceae), a new species from Cape York Peninsula, Queensland. Austrobaileya 7(2): 319–324.
  • Grigg, S. 1995. Nepenthes mirabilis. Bulletin of the Australian Carnivorous Plant Society, Inc. 14(3): 4.
  • Kruger, R. 2001. Nepenthes of Cape York (Part 1). Bulletin of the Australian Carnivorous Plant Society 20(3): 13–17.
  • Kruger, R. 2001. Nepenthes of Cape York (Part 2). Bulletin of the Australian Carnivorous Plant Society 20(4): 6–9.
  • Lavarack, P.S. 1981. Nepenthes mirabilis in Australia. Carnivorous Plant Newsletter 10(3): 69–72, 74–76.
  • Mansell, G. 2003. Australian Nepenthes Discovery of the Century.... Exotica Plants.
  • McPherson, S.R. & A. Robinson 2012. Field Guide to the Pitcher Plants of Australia and New Guinea. Redfern Natural History Productions, Poole.
  • Wilson, G.W., F. Venter, R.F. Wilson & D. Crayn 2011. Chasing Nepenthes on Cape York, Queensland. Carnivorous Plant Newsletter 40(4): 122–128.
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