Here are two mirabilis relatives that are often compared to each other, now photographed side by side for pitcher morphology study. Note the different lid structure, peristome shape and other details. The rowanae is still young, and we expect the pitchers will be much larger as the plant grows up. The leaf structure also shows some differences. In case you didn't know, the N. "Viking" (globosa) is on the left, N. rowanae on the right
N. "Viking" (globosa) is on the right, N. rowanae on the left
N. rowanae (a) from EP
N. "Viking" (globosa)
Look forward to hearing your comments. Michelle and Trent
Hi Barry and Francois, As far as i know, Kurata has not yet publish an official description of N. globosa, and personally, I'm reluctant to use that name until it is published. We really prefer to use the common name N. 'Viking' until Kurata publishes his description of it as a new species. We think it is a new species, but taxonomic study may prove it to be an extreme form of mirabilis. We do observe too many stable characteristics that are not common in other mirabilis forms--such as the glandular boss on the underside of the lid-plainly visible in the last pic of the N. Viking. In my opinion-and it's strictly conjecture- N. Viking and N. rowanae are examples of sympatric speciation that has occured since the end of the last ice age as Nepenthes are expanding both north and south of old territories.
N. Viking is found in a region of southwestern Thailand called Phang Nga. They are found on a couple of islands in the bay, and some areas on the mainland close by. There are other unusual forms of mirabilis and thorelii that have recently come to light. The leaf structure of Viking is very much like mirabilis, and without the pitchers, could easily be mistaken for a mirabilis plant. Also, these plants experience a dry season and a wet season that is more extreme than Borneo. This is evidenced in the unusual tuber-like root system found on these Thailand Nepenthes. Bottom line: don't think it's a bicalcarata hybrid.
Hi Barry and Francois, As far as i know, Kurata has not yet publish an official description of N. globosa, and personally, I'm reluctant to use that name until it is published. We really prefer to use the common name N. 'Viking' until Kurata publishes his description of it as a new species.
Unfortunately, using the format N. 'Viking' is also a mistake, though, since that usage is cultivar format, and the plant has never been established as a cultivar. It is so variable that it really couldn't be either. It seems to me that the best way to refer to it would be something like "N. aff. mirabilis (Thailand)" or I suppose N. "Viking", although the double quotes run the risk of being confused for the single-quote cultivar convention. Oh well.
Do the pitchers have the weak papery consistency of N. mirabilis pitchers?
At this point, proper nomenclature for Viking has gone out the window. The Thai growers even have their own grading system, like Klom, Paan, grade A, "long neck" and the list goes on.... Chi'en Lee calls it Sp. Thailand, but there seems to be a few unknown species or forms of mirabilis from Thailand. The pitchers can be mirabilis like, but also sometimes they can be thick, it depends on the cultural conditions. For now, we are calling it N. Viking (like the Thai growers do) until a scientific name is published.