Nepenthes gracilis

Nepenthes gracilis
Nepenthes gracilis
A pitcher of Nepenthes gracilis from Terengganu, Peninsular Malaysia
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Nepenthaceae
Genus: Nepenthes
Species: N. gracilis
Binomial name
Nepenthes gracilis
Korth. (1839)

Nepenthes gracilis (pronounced /nɨˈpɛnθiːz ˈɡræsɨlɪs/, from Latin: gracilis "slender"), or the Slender Pitcher-Plant,[2] is a very common lowland pitcher plant that is widespread in the Sunda region. It has been recorded from Borneo, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, central Sulawesi, Sumatra, and southernmost Thailand.[3] The species has a wide altitudinal distribution of 0–1700 m above sea level, although most populations are found below 100 m and plants are rare above 1000 m.[4]

The pitchers of N. gracilis are relatively unremarkable with a very thin peristome and no unusual morphological features. Despite being a widespread plant, natural hybrids between N. gracilis and other species are quite rare.

Nepenthes gracilis was formally described by Pieter Willem Korthals in his 1839 monograph, "Over het geslacht Nepenthes".[5]



In 2001, Charles Clarke performed a cladistic analysis of the Nepenthes species of Sumatra and Peninsular Malaysia using 70 morphological characteristics of each taxon. The following is a portion of the resultant cladogram, showing part of "Clade 6". The sister pair of N. angasanensis and N. mikei has 79% support.[6]


N. gracilis

N. reinwardtiana


N. tobaica


N. angasanensis

N. mikei

Infraspecific taxa

Despite varying little across its range,[6] N. gracilis has a number of infraspecific taxa. Most of these are no longer considered valid.

  • Nepenthes gracilis f. angustifolia (Mast.) Hort.Westphal (1993)
  • Nepenthes gracilis var. angustifolia (Mast.) Hort.Weiner in sched. (1985)
  • Nepenthes gracilis var. arenaria Ridl. ex Macf. (1908)
  • Nepenthes gracilis var. elongata Bl. (1852)
  • Nepenthes gracilis var. longinodis G.Beck (1895)[1]
  • Nepenthes gracilis var. major Hort.Lindsay ex Dixon (1889)
  • Nepenthes gracilis var. teysmanniana (Miq.) Beck (1895)[1]

Natural hybrids

The following natural hybrids involving N. gracilis have been recorded.


Nepenthes gracilis habitat in Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia
  1. ^ a b c (German) Beck, G. 1895. Die Gattung Nepenthes. Wiener Illustrirte Garten-Zeitung 20(3–6): 96–107, 141–150, 182–192, 217–229.
  2. ^ Phillipps, A. & A. Lamb 1996. Pitcher-Plants of Borneo. Natural History Publications (Borneo), Kota Kinabalu.
  3. ^ a b c d McPherson, S.R. 2009. Pitcher Plants of the Old World. 2 volumes. Redfern Natural History Productions, Poole.
  4. ^ Adam, J.H., C.C. Wilcock & M.D. Swaine 1992. The ecology and distribution of Bornean Nepenthes.PDF Journal of Tropical Forest Science 5(1): 13–25.
  5. ^ Korthals, P.W. 1839. Over het geslacht Nepenthes. In: C.J. Temminck 1839–1842. Verhandelingen over de Natuurlijke Geschiedenis der Nederlandsche overzeesche bezittingen; Kruidkunde. Leiden. pp. 1–44, t. 1–4, 13–15, 20–22.
  6. ^ a b c Clarke, C.M. 2001. Nepenthes of Sumatra and Peninsular Malaysia. Natural History Publications (Borneo), Kota Kinabalu.
  7. ^ a b c d Clarke, C.M. 1997. Nepenthes of Borneo. Natural History Publications (Borneo), Kota Kinabalu.
  8. ^ Lee, C.C. 2004. Nepenthes. In: Sarawak Bau Limestone Biodiversity. H.S. Yong, F.S.P. Ng and E.E.L. Yen (eds). The Sarawak Museum Journal Vol. LIX, No. 80; Special Issue No. 6: 71–77.
  9. ^ Tan, W.K., C.L. Wong & C.K. Frazier 1996. Nepenthes × (rafflesiana and gracilis)? Nature Malaysiana 21: 82–85.

Further reading

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