Nepenthes, the carnivorous plants of Borneo

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The Nepenthes of Borneo are without a shadow of a doubt among the most fascinating beings that have ever appeared on earth; they are unable to eat humans, but cases of mice and small birds are documented. When fantasy surpasses reality When fantasy surpasses reality

The carnivorous plants

Since the dawn of time he has fantasized about plants capable of moving and feeding like human beings, fascinating and at the same time frightening suggestions for men and women of past times. Given the vastness of species present (over 600), it is however certain that humanity has always had contact with these plants, even though they were considered mostly associated with the malignant.

Mount Kinabalu, home of several carnivorous plants

The “carnivorous”, in fact, is none other than their way of finding fertilizer in the impervious soils populated by them, tending to be characterized by very low nitrogen levels. Since the latter are mostly peat bogs and marshes, it is easy to understand why even Charles Darwin will have to wait with his “Insectivorous plants” before fully discovering this fascinating type of plants and their characteristics. As I have already said, the species are very many and incredibly varied, given the nature of the site, however, we will focus on the Nepenthes, the largest and most original of Borneo and the Malaysian Archipelago.

The Nepenthes

The translation of the name is enough to understand the extraordinary nature of this genre: “without pain”. This wording is attributed to Linnaeus himself, one of the fathers of modern biology, who, having come to the Nepenthes after a long and painful journey, stated that he had been “painless” for the prize received. These plants grow throughout Southeast Asia, however finding a refuge in Borneo for the most incredible species the world has ever seen. Nepenthes Rajah, for example, has been seen capturing even small birds and mice, all digested over time.

Nepenthes Rajah

Not only live animals however, this genus is certainly among the most interesting and incredible for adaptation to the surrounding environment, stimulating the fauna around them with perfumes and essences aimed at the most varied tasks. Nepenthes Lowii, to name one, has been found to prefer animal feces rather than live ones and for this reason it has gradually taken on a shape that vaguely resembles a toilet. The incredible vastness of species (even today new ones are discovered) attracts tourists and explorers from every corner of the world, curious to discover one of the great lungs of the earth; incredible wealth for the country and great incentive to fight deforestation.

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