Nepenthes ventricosa is the perennial starter Nepenthes favorite! This was indeed my first ever Nepenthes. I bought this plant back in 1992 from California Carnivores as a rooted cutting. When I visited Peter's nursery in Northern California for the first time, I didn't know what a Nepenthes was. So when I first saw these plants I was hooked. This plant has had many cuttings taken from it over the years and is an extremely hardy plant. For some reason this plant has produced some lower pitchers where the peristome is close to black in color. Other pitchers are streaked with red and rather ridged while the upper offshoots produce more green pitchers with pink peristomes. Whatever the case, I really love this plant. Over the years I've overlooked the beauty of this plant with its hourglass shaped pitchers and ridged peristome. There are many varieties of N. ventricosa available and many come from Exotica Plants. Some varieties are easier to get to pitcher than others. My N. ventricosa "black" just pitchered in 2009 after never pitchering for several years while my N. ventricosa "k" pitchers regularly. Most N. ventricosas are considered highlanders but do just fine as intermediates and prefer a little warmer conditions than true highlanders. They also make great hybrids because of the pitcher shape, range of growing conditions, and how vigorous they are. I wouldn't be surprised if there are more N. ventricosa hybrids out there than true species. Because N. ventricosa is fairly inexpensive for the size of the plant, vigorous, and can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions, this species is one of the most popular starter Nepenthes there is.
intermediate / highlander 1200m-1500m
Cultivation: one of the easiest! great starter
plant; quick to moderate grower, appears to root easily from cuttings.
Market availability: extremely common; size 3 up to large plants and rooted cuttings
Species variability: lots! red, black, a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k from Exotica Plants and more
$ / size: inexpensive to moderate; $10.00 - $45.00 for large established unusual color specimens
Cuttings: available at times for trade
Sex: female (California Carnivores clone) and "black"; male "K" and "red"