Nepenthes truncata

Nepenthes truncata - Body

Let’s explore a carnivorous plant: the Tropical Pitcher Plant! Look closely at the photos and videos below. What do you notice? How do you think this plant has adapted to survive in its environment?

Scientific Name: Nepenthes truncata (neh-PEN-thees trun-KAH-ta)

Family: Nepenthaceae

Common Name: Tropical Pitcher Plant

Range: Philippines

Pitcher-like plant with reddish brown rim and a spotted interior.

Nepenthes truncata

Plant stem with leaves attached.

Nepenthes truncata stem

Large green leaf with a pitcher-like growth at the end.

Nepenthes truncata leaf

Teardrop-shape with a reddish brown exterior and a bright green interior. The interior has reddish brown spots and a small amount of liquid.

Nepenthes truncata

Watch this video to look at the plant in a new way!

Questions & Prompts

  • What do you observe?

  • What do you wonder?

  • Imagine touching this plant. What would it feel like? Do you think different parts of the plant feel different?

  • If you could ask this plant one question, what would you ask?

  • This plant’s common name (or nickname) is Tropical Pitcher Plant. Why do you think people chose this common name? What common name (or nickname) would you give to this plant? Why?

  • What do you think would happen to this plant if it were transplanted to a desert? Why do you think that?

Creative Prompts

  • What colors do you see on this plant? Do you see any of these greens? Can you recreate these colors using art supplies?

  • Be an engineer! Study the adaptations that help this plant survive in a nutrient-poor environment. Create an invention to help people survive nutrient-poor environments. Your invention should use the same features this plant uses. What does your invention do? Is your invention sustainable?

  • Be an artist! Create an abstract artwork based on this plant’s features. When you’re done, write a label for your artwork.

  • Be an artist! Create a pattern artwork based on a plant part pattern you see. When you’re done, write a label for your artwork.

  • Be an artist! Create a work of botanical art for this plant.

  • Write from the perspective of an insect encountering this plant. What do they think? What do they notice? What do they do?

Video with Shawn Lyons

Did Shawn talk about anything you observed?

Did Shawn answer any questions you had?

What new questions do you have after listening to Shawn?

In what sort of environment do you think this plant lives? Draw a picture or write a descriptive paragraph to help people understand the Pitcher Plant’s environment and what it needs to survive.

Resources and References

Brads Greenhouse & Gardening. 2019. Nepenthes Truncata Care Tips: Temperatures, Feeding and More.

“Nepenthes Truncata.” n.d. Carnivorous Plant Resource (blog). Accessed June 4, 2021.