Description of Nepenthes rajah Hook.f. (1859)

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Nepenthes Rajah by Joseph Dalton Hooker
In: Hooker, J.D. 1859. Transactions of the Linnean Society XXII.

Ascidia magna, ore mediocri, annulo latissime explanato, dense lamellato v. costato.

Nepenthes Rajah, H. f. (Frutex, 4-pedalis, Low). Foliis maximis 2-pedalibus, oblongo-lanceolatis petiolo costaque crassissimis, ascidiis giganteis (cum operculo l-2-pedalibus) ampullaceis ore contracto, stipite folio peltatim affixo, annulo maximo lato everso crebre lamellato, operculo amplissimo ovato-cordato, ascidium totum æquante.—(Tab. LXXII.)

Hab.—Borneo, north coast, on Kina Balu, alt. 5,000 feet (Low). This wonderful plant is certainly one of the most striking vegetable productions hitherto discovered, and, in this respect, is worthy of taking place side by side with the Rafflesia Arnoldii. It hence bears the title of my friend Rajah Brooke, of whose services, in its native place, it may be commemorative among botanists. . . . I have only two specimens of leaves and pitchers, both quite similar, but one twice as large as the other. Of these, the leaf of the larger is 18 inches long, exclusive of the petioles, which is as thick as the thumb and 7-8 broad, very coriaceous and glabrous, with indistinct nerves. The stipes of the pitcher is given off below the apex of the leaf, is 20 inches long, and as thick as the finger. The broad ampullaceous pitcher is 6 inches in diameter, and 12 long: it has two fimbriated wings in front, is covered with long rusty hairs above, is wholly studded with glands within, and the broad annulus is everted, and 1-1½ inch in diameter. Operculum shortly stipitate, 10 inches long and 8 broad.

The inflorescence is hardly in proportion. Male raceme, 30 inches long, of which 20 are occupied by the flowers; upper part and flowers clothed with short rusty pubescence. Peduncles slender, simple or bifid. Fruiting raceme stout. Peduncles 1½ inches long, often bifid. Capsule, ¾ inch long, ⅓ broad, rather turgid, densely covered with rusty tomentum.