photo taken 11 / 04

N. thorelii
purchase date: 5 / 01
arrived as a size 3
plant origin: CP Jungle, probably originated from  Exotica Plants
photo taken: 7 / 05

N. thorelii "d"
purchase date: 5 / 06
arrived as a rooted cutting
plant origin:  Exotica Plants
photo taken: 11 / 06

N. thorelii "Wistuba clone"
purchase date: 5 / 06
arrived as a small size 3
plant origin:  Nepenthes Nursery
photo taken: 11 / 06

N. thorelii "purple"
purchase date: 5 / 05
arrived as a good size 3
plant origin: Exotica Plants
photo taken: 5 / 05

Nepenthes thorelii is a plant that I'm not too familiar with. I originally bought one plant from the CP Jungle and the grower told me his N. thoreliis did okay when the temperature dropped in his greenhouse so I decided to give it a try. When I received my plant it did go through an initial shock phase with leaf curl and pitcher drop off. Usually this is due to transplant shock because of  root disturbance. But after a while it adapted and currently is doing well outdoors yearround. This particular N. thorelii has somewhat papery leaves and would prefer higher humidity than I'm giving it, but it has adjusted to outdoor growing fine. I've also noticed that when it flowers, it produces an exceedingly long flower spike with a small cluster of flowers on the end. Other Nepenthes tend to spread out their flowers more evenly on the flower stalk. This variety slows down considerably during winter. 

Another variety of N. thorelii from Exotica Plants is their "d". I got this one because it is supposed to have some purple in it. I originally had it in my bedroom but since have moved it outdoors and it is doing much better. I've found that even though Exotica's thoreliis are lowland to intermediate, they can be grown and do well in my highland outdoor conditions. The leaves on the "d" form aren't as papery as my other form. The photo of the pitcher above may be an upper or a lower. I'm not sure since I haven't seen any photos of this plant. In fact, I'm not 100% sure if N. thorelii produces more than one kind of pitcher. Whatever the case, Exotica Plants uses N. thorelii in a lot of their spectacular hybrids in this species adds to the vigor and color of the crosses Exotica produces.

The Wistuba clone I'm also growing outdoors. The leaves are somewhat papery but it seems to be doing fine under shade cloth. If memory serves, the Nepenthes Nursery lists their N. thorelii as being a highlander so I'm growing it that way. This clone has yet to go through a winter but I suspect it will slow down for many months and then resume growing when the months heat up again.

My N. thorelii "purple" was purchased from Sunbelle Orchids but the original seed grown plants came from Exotica Plants. I was told by the grower that this thorelii is "the real thing." The pod parent (or mother plant) for the N. thorelii purple came from Brisbane Botanical Gardens, and the pollen parent is a wild collected plant. They told me each plant has individual characteristics and describe them as sort of "raff-like." The leaves of this variety are not papery but more waxy similar to other strap-like leafed highlanders. So I immediately started growing them outdoors without problems. The pitchers are a nice purple and with more time and sun exposure, may turn a darker purple. There's a lot of debate as to what is the "real" thorelii.  As of late, there seems to be great confusion over the true identity of  N. thorelii in cultivation. I've been told that my reddish plant resembles other "N. thoreliis" in cultivation. However, I've also heard that the true N. thorelii might not be in cultivation. I have no answer to this controversy. I have searched the net and found N. thorelii listed as a lowlander and a highlander. Most of the literature and feedback leans towards lowlander conditions for this species.  I believe most other growers grow their N. thoreli's as lowlanders to intermediates. The grower of the "purple" variety says that hers have taken temps into the 50's without any problems. So my guess is this plant will do well all year, but will slow down a lot during winter. We'll see about that.  

lowlander 0m-900m

Cultivation: moderate outdoors, probably easy under typical lowland conditions;  slow to moderate grower outdoors
Market availability: size 2, size 3, to rooted cuttings; somewhat uncommon
Species variability: some (if there is a real N. thorelii in cultivation) A, B, C, D, purple, red, squat
$ / size: inexpensive to moderate;  $20.00-$35.00
Cuttings: none available for trade
Sex:  female plant for the "normal" variety