Pitcher Plants of the Old World

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Pitcher Plants of the Old World
Pitcher plants of the old world.jpg
Covers showing N. northiana (left) and C. follicularis (right)
Author Stewart McPherson
Language English
Publisher Redfern Natural History Productions
Publication date
May 2009
Media type Print (hardcover)
Pages xvi + 1399
ISBN 978-0-9558918-2-3 (Volume I)
ISBN 978-0-9558918-3-0 (Volume II)
OCLC 437275713

Pitcher Plants of the Old World is a two-volume monograph by Stewart McPherson on the pitcher plants of the genera Nepenthes and Cephalotus. It was published in May 2009 by Redfern Natural History Productions and covers all species known at the time.[1] The work was edited by Alastair Robinson and Andreas Fleischmann.[1]

The monograph was followed in 2011 by New Nepenthes: Volume One, a supplementary work covering the many Nepenthes taxa documented in the preceding few years.[2]


In an interview with The Hoopoe, McPherson explained his reasons for writing the book and the extensive field work that it involved:[3]

I prepared Pitcher Plants of the Old World in response to the lack of available information on dozens of species of Nepenthes. Since many species of Nepenthes are not in cultivation, and also because there is often confusion concerning those that are, I resolved to study and photograph each species of Nepenthes and Cephalotus in the wild, in order to document each adequately. After graduating from university in 2006 at the age of 23, I began three years of intense research focusing on Nepenthes and Cephalotus, and spent a cumulative total of eighteen months in the field. Over the last three years, I climbed over one hundred mountains across Southeast Asia in search of species of Nepenthes. Many of these journeys were relatively simple, lasting just a few days or less. Others required more extensive effort, and in a few cases, I spent more than one week to find a single Nepenthes taxon.


The book gives a detailed account of the singular Cephalotus follicularis as well as 120 species of Nepenthes, including one described for the first time (N. micramphora). A further five "incompletely diagnosed taxa" are included: N. sp. Misool, N. sp. Papua (later identified as N. lamii),[4] N. sp. Phanga Nga (later described as N. mirabilis var. globosa),[5] N. sp. Sulawesi (later described as N. nigra),[6] and N. sp. Trang (later described as N. kerrii).[7] Nepenthes hamiguitanensis—which would be described in McPherson's next book, Carnivorous Plants and their Habitats—is treated here as a natural hybrid between N. micramphora and N. peltata.[8]


In addition to Cephalotus follicularis, the following 120 species and 5 undescribed taxa of Nepenthes are covered in the book.

  1. N. adnata
  2. N. alata
  3. N. alba
  4. N. albomarginata
  5. N. ampullaria
  6. N. angasanensis
  7. N. argentii
  8. N. aristolochioides
  9. N. attenboroughii
  10. N. beccariana
  11. N. bellii
  12. N. benstonei
  13. N. bicalcarata
  14. N. bokorensis
  15. N. bongso
  16. N. boschiana
  17. N. burbidgeae
  18. N. burkei
  19. N. campanulata
  20. N. chaniana
  21. N. clipeata
  22. N. copelandii
  23. N. danseri
  24. N. deaniana
  25. N. densiflora
  26. N. diatas
  27. N. distillatoria
  28. N. dubia
  29. N. edwardsiana
  30. N. ephippiata
  31. N. eustachya
  32. N. eymae
  33. N. faizaliana
  34. N. flava
  35. N. fusca
  36. N. glabrata
  37. N. glandulifera
  38. N. gracilis
  39. N. gracillima
  40. N. gymnamphora
  41. N. hamata
  42. N. hirsuta
  43. N. hispida
  44. N. hurrelliana
  45. N. inermis
  46. N. insignis
  47. N. izumiae
  48. N. jacquelineae
  49. N. jamban
  50. N. junghuhnii
  51. N. kampotiana
  52. N. khasiana
  53. N. klossii
  54. N. kongkandana
  55. N. lamii
  56. N. lavicola
  57. N. lingulata
  58. N. longifolia
  59. N. lowii
  60. N. macfarlanei
  61. N. macrophylla
  62. N. macrovulgaris
  63. N. madagascariensis
  64. N. mantalingajanensis
  65. N. mapuluensis
  66. N. masoalensis
  67. N. maxima
  68. N. merrilliana
  69. N. micramphora
  70. N. mikei
  71. N. mindanaoensis
  72. N. mira
  73. N. mirabilis
  74. N. mollis
  75. N. muluensis
  76. N. murudensis
  77. N. naga
  78. N. neoguineensis
  79. N. northiana
  80. N. ovata
  81. N. paniculata
  82. N. papuana
  83. N. peltata
  84. N. pervillei
  85. N. petiolata
  86. N. philippinensis
  87. N. pilosa
  88. N. pitopangii
  89. N. platychila
  90. N. rafflesiana
  91. N. rajah
  92. N. ramispina
  93. N. reinwardtiana
  94. N. rhombicaulis
  95. N. rigidifolia
  96. N. rowanae
  97. N. sanguinea
  98. N. saranganiensis
  99. N. sibuyanensis
  100. N. singalana
  101. N. smilesii
  102. N. spathulata
  103. N. spectabilis
  104. N. stenophylla
  105. N. sumatrana
  106. N. surigaoensis
  107. N. talangensis
  108. N. tenax
  109. N. tentaculata
  110. N. tenuis
  111. N. thorelii
  112. N. tobaica
  113. N. tomoriana
  114. N. treubiana
  115. N. truncata
  116. N. veitchii
  117. N. ventricosa
  118. N. vieillardii
  119. N. villosa
  120. N. vogelii
Incompletely diagnosed taxa
  1. N. sp. Misool
  2. N. sp. Papua (N. lamii)
  3. N. sp. Phanga Nga (N. mirabilis var. globosa)
  4. N. sp. Sulawesi (N. nigra)
  5. N. sp. Trang (N. kerrii)


The book has been praised for its scope, detail, and high quality photographs.[9][10][11][12][13][14][15] In their review for the journal Phytotaxa, Maarten J. M. Christenhusz and Michael F. Fay wrote:[11]

This is to date the only publication dealing with the genus Nepenthes throughout its geographical range. He [McPherson] humbly refers the reader to other taxonomic works, but these are all regional treatments. The level of information provided on all the species of Nepenthes is outstanding and has no precedent.


  1. ^ a b McPherson, S.R. 2009. Pitcher Plants of the Old World. 2 volumes. Redfern Natural History Productions, Poole.
  2. ^ McPherson, S.R. 2011. New Nepenthes: Volume One. Redfern Natural History Productions, Poole.
  3. ^ Pitcher Plants of the Old World – An Interview with Stewart McPherson. The Hoopoe, August 10, 2009.
  4. ^ Robinson, A., J. Nerz, A. Wistuba, M. Mansur & S. McPherson 2011. Nepenthes lamii Jebb & Cheek, an emended description resulting from the separation of a two-species complex, and the introduction of Nepenthes monticola, a new species of highland pitcher plant from New Guinea. In: McPherson, S.R. New Nepenthes: Volume One. Redfern Natural History Productions, Poole. pp. 522–555.
  5. ^ Catalano, M. 2010. "Nepenthes mirabilis var. globosa M. Catal. var. nov." (PDF).  In: Nepenthes della Thailandia: Diario di viaggio. Prague. p. 40.
  6. ^ Nerz, J., A. Wistuba, C.C. Lee, G. Bourke, U. Zimmermann & S. McPherson 2011. Nepenthes nigra, a new pitcher plant from Central Sulawesi. In: McPherson, S.R. New Nepenthes: Volume One. Redfern Natural History Productions, Poole. pp. 468–491.
  7. ^ Catalano, M. 2010. "Nepenthes kerrii M. Catal. et T. Kruetr. sp. nov." (PDF).  In: Nepenthes della Thailandia: Diario di viaggio. Prague. p. 32.
  8. ^ Gronemeyer, T., A. Wistuba, V. Heinrich, S. McPherson, F. Mey & A. Amoroso 2010. Nepenthes hamiguitanensis (Nepenthaceae), a new pitcher plant species from Mindanao Island, Philippines. In: S.R. McPherson Carnivorous Plants and their Habitats. Volume 2. Redfern Natural History Productions, Poole. pp. 1296–1305.
  9. ^ Fay, M.F. 2009. Book Reviews: Pitcher Plants of the Old World. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 161(4): 449–450. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.01023.x
  10. ^ (German) Parolly, G. & R. Hand 2009. Buchbesprechungen / Book reviews. Willdenowia 39(2): 365–367.
  11. ^ a b Christenhusz, M.J.M. & M.F. Fay 2009. "Review of Pitcher Plants of the Old World." (PDF).  Phytotaxa 2: 46–48.
  12. ^ Schmid, R. 2009. Reviews and Notices of Publications. Taxon 58(3): 1029–1045.
  13. ^ Ellison, A.M. 2010. Pitcher Plants of the Old World, Volumes One and Two. Rhodora 112(949): 95–97. doi:10.3119/0035-4902-112.949.95
  14. ^ Darnowski, D. 2010. "Pitcher Plants of the Old World." (PDF).  Plant Science Bulletin 56(1): 45–46.
  15. ^ Ziemer, B. 2011. Reviews: Pitcher Plants of the Old World. Carnivorous Plant Newsletter 40(2): 74.

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