Heliamphora neblinae

Heliamphora are fascinating plants. First, they grow in extremely remote and hard-to-access areas*, many of which have yet to be explored. Also, they look somewhat similar to each other at first glance, but as you keep looking at them, the morphological differences become clearer, and you end up wanting them all in your collection. That said, I had room in my terrarium – and money in my wallet—for a single Heliamphora. I could have fitted two, but they would have had to stay compact… The thing is, I wanted a large-growing species. In the end, a couple of photos sealed the deal on this particular clone of Heliamphora neblinae from the Cerro Avispa tepui. The elegant shape, the large red lid, the size… All boxes are checked. Well, all except availability. So I dropped a little request on the CPUK forum and got a reply from Maciej Stelmach, a talented and experienced Polish Heliamphora grower, who offered me a rooted H. neblinae “Avispa” cutting.

May 2019

The pitchers have come at a rate of roughly one per month, and this is the first one with a perfectly flared opening. Everything on it is elegance and subtlety, from the shape to the colors down to the tiny hairs. Heliamphora are definitely a class of their own. I think I will have to make room for another one. 😀

Heliamphora neblinae (Avispa) adult pitcher
A bright and beautiful 15-cm tall pitcher.

August 2018

There it is, the first adult pitcher! It always is a milestone in Heliamphora cultivation.

First adult pitcher on Heliamphora neblinae (Avispa)
Adult Heliamphora pitchers are very distinct from juvenile ones, even at a very early stage of development.

July 2018

The little plant arrived in July 2017, with at least five short but fleshy roots and a couple of juvenile pitchers. A year after, it has settled, and is making a new pitcher every month. I’m waiting for the first adult one.

Heliamphora neblinae "Avispa", juvenile pitchers
Typical Heliamphora pitcher arrangement at the juvenile stage.

*Looking out over the forest towards Cerro Avispa our furthest (on the return journey through 8,600 sq miles of pristine forest – no people at all), and Cerro de Neblina (2,994 m – the double peak in the right pan of the video) from a rock outcrop on the Rio Yatua, just before sunrise.

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