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N. pudica: newly discovered underground pitcher plant

July 8th, 2022 by

Pitcher plants, and carnivorous plants in general, are known to need sunlight to photosynthesize and grow, along with the bugs they catch for food—until N. pudica literally came to light.

However, a newly discovered species of pitcher plant challenges that need by adapting so that it doesn’t need sunlight quite the same way. This is Nepenthes pudica, a tropical pitcher plant in Indonesia that grows traps underground!

N. pudica, the underground pitcher plant

This new species was first found in North Kalimantan, an Indonesian province on the island of Borneo. Most pitcher plants grow their traps from the tips of green, photosynthesizing leaves while suspended in midair. However, N. Pudica grows underground shoots with small, white leaves devoid of chlorophyll. Its reddish pitchers are also much larger than the leaves they grow from.

Detailed lower pitchers

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