Cephalotus ‘Hummer’s Giant’

Cephalotus ‘Hummer’s Giant’ has seemingly larger pitchers than the type species C. follicularis, assuming equal growing conditions. That’s why US grower John Hummer selected this particular clone back in 2000. In 2013, I received a specimen from Jean-Jacques Labat, a well-known French horticulturist and nursery man, whom I owe my passion for carnivorous plants.

March 2019

The experiment has been quite positive so far. I can’t say that the plants thrive, but they produce pitchers and certainly don’t appear to be in survival mode.

Two Cephalotus 'Hummer's Giant', well-established in a tree fern panel
Aren’t they happy? The biggest trap is about 5 cm high. Zoom in!

August 2017

A nicely sized pitcher has just opened on the smallest specimen. Both plants are making new carnivorous leaves—Cephalotus also make flat, non-carnivorous leaves—and they are now accustomed to their new growing conditions. That’s a relief. The viability of a tree fern panel for long-term growing is still a mystery though. I’m also curious about the future shape of the plants on that vertical growing surface.

New pitcher now open on Cephalotus 'Hummer's Giant'
This brand new, 3-cm high pitcher will soon become dark red, like the older ones.

Late May – Early June 2017

During the first few weeks after such a stress, one looks for signs, either of growth or of decline. Luckily, it’s the former. Much to my amazement, both plants are developing new roots, and the right one is making a pitcher. Cephalotus are capricious plants so eveything can still happen, but it’s hard not to be satisfied.

Cephalotus 'Hummer's Giant' developing new roots in the tree fern panel
Some fresh roots…
Cephalotus 'Hummer's Giant' making a new pitcher
…and a new pitcher. For those unfamiliar with these plants, it’s the hairy little green thing near the middle of the frame.

Mid-May 2017

After a couple of years of growth in a regular plastic pot, I decided to transplant my ‘Hummer’s Giant’ to a tree fern panel, that I would install in my new highland terrarium, vertically. Totally experimental, and a first, I guess. Doing so, I know I would probably not get the biggest pitchers, but it sure can look amazing if it works. After all, C. follicularis does grow on rather steep surfaces in its habitat. Also, I read somewhere that the cultivar did not require a winter dormancy, so it should be fine in a terrarium. So much for reassuring myself… 😉

Cephalotus 'Hummer's Giant', about to start a new life
Cephalotus ‘Hummer’s Giant’, about to start a new life.
Cephalotus 'Hummer's Giant' roots
The original clump yielded two distinct plants. Cephalotus does not like to be uprooted, and I have zero idea if what I am about to do would work.
Cephalotus 'Hummer's Giant freshly transplanted into a tree fern panel
At least, the transplant is successful. I managed to insert the roots between the fern fibers. That took about 30 minutes and I had to stay very, very focused.
Cephalotus 'Hummer's Giant' just installed in the terrarium
Ready to grow again!

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