Heliamphora nutans

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Heliamphora nutans
Roraima Heliamphora nutans1.JPG
Heliamphora nutans on Mount Roraima
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Sarraceniaceae
Genus: Heliamphora
Species: H. nutans
Binomial name
Heliamphora nutans
Benth. (1840)[1]

Heliamphora nutans (Latin: nutans = nodding) is a species of marsh pitcher plant native to the border area between Venezuela, Brazil and Guyana, where it grows on several tepuis, including Roraima, Kukenán, Yuruaní, Maringma, and Wei Assipu. Heliamphora nutans was the first Heliamphora to be described and is the best known species.[2]

Heliamphora nutans was originally discovered in 1839 on Mount Roraima by the two brothers Robert and Richard Schomburgk,[3] although they did not collect samples to return to Europe. The plant was formally described by George Bentham in 1840,[1] becoming the type species of the genus. In 1881, David Burke was plant-hunting in the same area of British Guiana where he collected specimens of the plant and introduced it to England.[4]

This species employs an 'aquaplaning' trapping mechanism similar to that of many tropical pitcher plants of the genus Nepenthes.[5][6]


  1. ^ a b Bentham, G. (June 1840). XXV. On the Heliamphora nutans, a new pitcher-plant from British Guiana. The Transactions of the Linnean Society of London 18(3): 429–433. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.1838.tb00190.x
  2. ^ McPherson, S., A. Wistuba, A. Fleischmann & J. Nerz 2011. Sarraceniaceae of South America. Redfern Natural History Productions, Poole.
  3. ^ "David Burke (1854 – 1897)". www.orchids.co.in. Retrieved 7 November 2008. 
  4. ^ James Herbert Veitch (2006). Hortus Veitchii (reprint ed.). Caradoc Doy. p. 87. ISBN 0-9553515-0-2. 
  5. ^ Bauer, U., M. Scharmann, J. Skepper & W. Federle 2013. 'Insect aquaplaning' on a superhydrophilic hairy surface: how Heliamphora nutans Benth. pitcher plants capture prey. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 280(1753): 20122569. doi:10.1098/rspb.2012.2569
  6. ^ Ants aquaplaning on a pitcher plant. University of Cambridge.

Further reading[edit]