Planting Nepenthes aka Monkey Cups at Setia Alam Trail
The ‘armageddon’ like thunderstorm almost cancelled our plans for a walk in the Setia Alam Trail today. We had a different mission in mind, Gideon Lim wanted to introduce the Nepenthes species, commonly known as ‘Monkey Cups’ to the forest here.
After the rain abated, we set off on the trail heading to the waterfall to seek wet conditions with high humidity, ideal to grow the Nephentes cuttings. The trail itself was blocked with numerous fallen trees and branches, as we slowly cleared the path to pass through.
Along the walk I’ve taken numerous times before, Gideon showed me a different point of view, by pointing out plants, more accurately ferns and moss which interests him. There were single-cell ferns which resembled a thin film, and he also spotted carnivorous plants in the pond, which looked like ‘water weeds’ to me. These plants had minuscule ‘traps’ which engulfs prey which comes close enough for a bite!
The Nepenthes species itself is also a carnivorous plant which eats any insects that are attracted to its cup-like structure. We were discussing the various types of Monkey Cups, as I’ve also seen them scale a tall tree when I was hiking in Maliau Basin, known as the Lost World in Sabah.
Gideon and friend, Dennis were more than happy to seek new homes to grow their cuttings within the waterfall area, in the damp bogs. They were akin to the Salmon, spanning a million eggs and happy if at least one grows to continue the cycle.
We also spotted a tiny orange orchid-like flower, and many sheets of beautiful plains of moss. Perhaps the rain was a blessing in disguise, bringing cool weather and pink mushrooms!
Both Gideon and Dennis, gives me hope to have the young generation take interest in botany and make the effort to conserve what’s left of Mother Nature’s creation. It was also enlightening to learn another angle to this forest which I’ve always just run or walk by quickly. Hopefully, the Nepenthes cuttings will take root and we’ll be able to post updates in the near future.
If you’re curious about the carnivorous aquatic plant, here’s a video Gideon shared with me.