Heliamphora nutans


H. chimantensis, H. elongata,
H. exappendiculata, H. folliculata,
H. glabra, H. heterodoxa, H. hispida,
H. ionasii, H. minor, H. nutans, H. pulchella,
H. sarracenioides, H. tatei, H. ciliata, H. huberi, H. uncinata, H. neblinae.

and some varieties, forms, natural and horticultural hybrids.



Sun pitcher plant or Marsh pitcher plant



History and etymology

In 1838 the naturalist Sir R. Schomburgkdescribed a plant that he had seen on Mount Roraima. Two years later, the English botanist G. Bentham made the publication under the name of Heliamphora nutans. The name comes from the Greek Heliamphora, but uncertainty remains between Helios meaning "sun" and Elos "swamp", amphora meaning simply "urn". There are thus two versions of the sun Urn or marshes Urn.


The genus is endemic of south american Tepuys. The area extends from the south, Pico da Neblina (border of Brazil and Venezuela) to the north, Cerro Guaiquinima (Bolivar State). From west to east, Cerro Sipapo (border with Colombia and Venezuela) at Mount Roraima (border of Venezuela and Guyana).


Despite the tropical weather, the sandstone plateaux where grow Heliamphora can undergo wide temperature variations due to the altitude that ranges from 1000-3000 meters. The rains are heavy and violent, the fog are thick and cold. The sun can be very important in some seasons. The plants grow in savannas, wetlands, depressions, along streams, on mossy rocks in a peat soil and sand, poor and acidic. Other plants are also found in the same biotopes: Brocchinia, Drosera, Stegolepis ... In these areas, the endemic flora rates can reach 75%.


Perennial herbaceous terrestrial plants, 10 cm to 1.50 m high. The leaves are arranged in a rosette-shaped cones fitted with a small lid. They are green but can sometimes be veined or red tinged.

Traps are formed by the cone-shaped leaves filled with rain water.

The prey, attracted by nectar secretions from the lid, slide over the edge of the pitcher and eventually drown in the bottom. Digestion of preys is due solely to bacteria, the leaf carries out only absorption. The prey are mainly insects: Diptera, Hymenoptera ...

The white or pink flowers are supported by large scapes, which are like tiny flowers of tulips leaning forward.
of H. heterodoxa x H. minor

Heliamphora folliculata

Heliamphora tatei
(Tepuy Marahuaka)






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