Nepenthes khasiana

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Nepenthes khasiana
Nepenthes khasiana.jpg
Nepenthes khasiana. Cultivated plant.
CITES Appendix I (CITES)[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Nepenthaceae
Genus: Nepenthes
Species: N. khasiana
Binomial name
Nepenthes khasiana
Hook.f. (1873)[2]
Nepenthes khasiana distribution.jpg
Satellite image of the Indian subcontinent with the distribution of N. khasiana highlighted in green.

Nepenthes khasiana (/nɨˈpɛnθz ˌxæsiˈɑːnə/; after the Khasi Hills, to which it is largely endemic) is a tropical pitcher plant of the genus Nepenthes. It is the only Nepenthes species native to India. It is thought to attract prey by means of blue fluorescence.[3]

The species has a very localised distribution and is rare in the wild. Isolated populations are known to occur in the Jarain area of the Jaintia Hills and the Baghmara area of the Garo Hills, adjacent to the Khasi Hills region of Meghalaya. Nevertheless, N. khasiana exhibits considerable genetic diversity.[4]

The Khasi people call the plant tiew-rakot, which means demon-flower or devouring-plant. The Jaintias call it kset phare, which is roughly translated as lidded fly net. The Garo call the plant memang-koksi, which literally means the basket of the devil.[5][6]

Nepenthes khasiana is a protected species, classified as Endangered, and is on CITES Appendix I along with N. rajah. Threats to wild populations include habitat destruction, acid mine drainage associated with coal mining, and collection for medicinal and ornamental uses.[5][7] In 2010, the Rare Nepenthes Collection was established with the aim of conserving 4 of the most threatened Nepenthes species: N. aristolochioides, N. clipeata, N. khasiana, and N. rigidifolia.[8][9][10]

The specific epithet khasiana is spelled khasyana in some older texts.[11][12] This spelling actually predates that under which the species was formally published in Joseph Dalton Hooker's 1873 monograph, "Nepenthaceae",[2] as it appeared in an article by Maxwell T. Masters in the April 20, 1872 issue of The Gardeners' Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette (this article was itself based on the manuscript of Hooker's monograph).[12] In the horticultural trade of the late 19th century, N. khasiana was often confused with N. distillatoria of Sri Lanka.[12][13][14][15]


  1. ^ Appendices I, II and III. CITES.
  2. ^ a b (Latin) Hooker, J.D. 1873. Ordo CLXXV bis. Nepenthaceæ. In: A. de Candolle Prodromus Systematis Naturalis Regni Vegetabilis 17: 90–105.
  3. ^ Kurup, R., A.J. Johnson, S. Sankar, A.A. Hussain, C.S. Kumar & S. Baby 2013. Fluorescent prey traps in carnivorous plants. Plant Biology 15(3): 611–615. doi:10.1111/j.1438-8677.2012.00709.x
  4. ^ Bhau, B.S., K. Medhi, T. Sarkar & S.P. Saikia 2009. PCR based molecular characterization of Nepenthes khasiana Hook. f.—pitcher plant. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 56(8): 1183–1193. doi:10.1007/s10722-009-9444-0
  5. ^ a b Prasad, M.N.V. & S. Jeeva 2009. Coal mining and its leachate are potential threats to Nepenthes khasiana Hook. f. (Nepenthaceae) that preys on insects - an endemic plant in North Eastern India. Biological Diversity and Conservation 2/3: 29–33.
  6. ^ Flora of Meghalaya
  7. ^ Verma, P.K., J. Schlauer, K.K. Rawat & K. Giri 2014. Status of insectivorous plants in northeast India. Carnivorous Plant Newsletter 43(2): 49–58.
  8. ^ Ziemer, B. 2010. Exciting conservation news: the Rare Nepenthes Collection project! Carnivorous Plant Newsletter 39(3): 67.
  9. ^ Nepenthes khasiana. Ark of Life.
  10. ^ Bourke, G. 2010. A new conservation initiative: the Rare Nepenthes Collection project. PDF Captive Exotics Newsletter 1(2): 5–6.
  11. ^ Moore, D. 1872. On the culture of Nepenthes at Glasnevin. The Gardeners' Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette 1872(11): 359–360.
  12. ^ a b c Masters, M.T. 1872. The cultivated species of Nepenthes. The Gardeners' Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette 1872(16): 540–542.
  13. ^ Masters, M.T. 1881. New garden plants. Nepenthes Mastersiana×, Hort. Veitch. The Gardeners' Chronicle, new series, 16(415): 748–749.
  14. ^ Masters, M.T. 1882. New garden plants. Nepenthes rubro-maculata×, Hort. Veitch. The Gardeners' Chronicle, new series, 17(423): 143.
  15. ^ Dixon, W.E. 1889. Nepenthes. The Gardeners' Chronicle, series 3, 6(144): 354.

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