Nepenthes ampullaria Jack

Nepenthes ampullaria Jack




Nepenthes ampullacea H. Low.

Vernacular Names


Akar periuk kera, periuk kera, akar cerek-cerek.


Pitcher plant, tropical pitcher plant, monkey pot.


Kantong teko (gener­al), ketakong betul (Bangka), katidieng boruak (West Sumatra).


Cho mokaeng, mokaeng khaang (Pattani), blaa-ngo­kue-ko (Malay-Pattani).

Geographical Distributions

Nepenthes ampullaria is distributed in Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo and New Guinea.


Nepenthes ampullaria is a terrestrial climber that can reach up to 15 m tall, with many terrestrial and few aerial rosettes, and with densely velvety indumentum of red-brown hairs in the young parts. Its stem is cylindri­cal measuring 1-1.5 cm in diameter. The internodes are 1.5-8 cm long. At the foot of the older plants, lateral rosettes with pitchers are present.

The leaves are sessile. The blade is thickly leathery, lance-shaped to spoon-shaped, where the under­surface is with red hairs. The rosette leaves measure 2-5 cm x 0.5 cm while the climbing leaves measure 12-25 cm x 3-6 cm. The base is attenuate and clasps the stem by half of its circum­ference.

The lower pitchers are obliquely urn-shaped, semi­circular on dorsal side, almost ventrally flat, measuring 2-10 cm x 9 cm, usually green, deeply flecked with maroon, rarely entirely red but sometimes whitish-yellow with pale pink flecks, with 2 fringed wings up to 1.5 cm broad, with fringe elements 0.5-1 cm long and 1-1.5 mm apart. The mouth part is oval and almost horizontal. The peristome is 3-15 mm wide, flattened and sloping steeply inwards with the ribs about 0.2-0.3 mm apart.

The lid is narrowly oblanceolate, and measures up to 4 cm x 1.5 cm. The lower surface is without ap­pendages and with sparse or absent nectar glands. The spur is simple or branched, measures up to 1 cm long, whereas the upper pitchers are generally not developed, rudimentary, broadly funnel-shaped and measure about 2 cm x 2 cm.

The male inflorescence is a panicle that measures up to 40 cm x 4-5 cm. The partial inflorescences are usually 8-12 cm long and with 3-6 flowers. The pedicel is 7-8 mm long. The tepals are broadly elliptical, measure 4-5 mm x 3-5 mm, and green to yellow. The androphore is 3-5 mm long. The female inflo­rescence and flowers are almost similar.

The fruit is 2-3 cm long and with valves 2-3.5 mm wide in the middle. The seed is 10-15 mm long.

Ecology / Cultivation

Nepenthes ampullaria grows in damp, shady forests, swamps and heath forests (Borneo), Araucaria for­est (New Guinea), secondary forests, open micro­phyllous vegetation and swamp grasslands, usual­ly up to 200 m altitude, occasionally as high as 2100 m.

Line Drawing / Photograph



1.       Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.17: Fibre plants.