Nepenthes veitchii ‘Candy’ × ‘Candy’

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August 2020

What do horticulturists do when they get their hands on a beautiful but extremely variable species like Nepenthes veitchii? Well, they further expand its variability through intraspecific crosses, in a way to enhance the most interesting characteristics. I guess this is how the ‘Candy Stripe’ N. veitchii cultivar, with its sweet color and large lollipop-like peristome, was born.

Europe’s master of this species, Christian Klein, is now offering an interesting seed-grown ‘Candy’ × ‘Candy’ cross, with “expected” squat pitchers. Natural variation leaves some amount of surprise, but I’m totally fine with each specimen being slightly different. It makes them more unique.

The plant found a place in my highland terrarium where its relative narrowness should allow it to grow undisturbed for a few years. This time I did not plant it in living sphagnum moss like I usually do with tropical pitcher plants, but in the peat-less soil that I first used for Sarracenia on Mike King’s advice. It is composed of two parts milled pine bark, one part grit and one part perlite, and has no reason not to be good for Nepenthes. How good? Time will tell.

Nepenthes veitchii 'Candy' × 'Candy' in August 2020
I really like the hairy obcordate leaves. The current pitchers, however, are basically the opposite of “squat”, but I think it’s normal at this early stage.