This enigmatic species is one of the most famous carnivorous plants. Nepenthes rajah grows on the slopes of Mt. Kinabalu and other neighboring mountains within Kinabalu National Park in Sabah, Malaysia on the island of Borneo. The leaves reach huge size and we’ve observed some to be over 4 feet long. The deep, red pitchers are one of the largest in the genus and have been fabled to eat monkeys and rats. Though it’s uncertain if the pitchers have evolved to perform this function, we do know that they have the perfect shape to be used as toilets to catch the excrement of summit rats which feed from the sugary exudate on the large, vaulted pitcher lids.
The plants offered for sale are from Borneo Exotics, BE-3152. They have been referred to as the “Kew clones” since collection of Nepenthes rajah seed was done in collaboration with Kew Gardens who subsequently put them into tissue culture and distributed to nurseries around the world. There are a mix of 4 assorted clones which have at least 1 confirmed female. We’ve found these clones to be slow growers when young but resilient and steady growers once established. These plants should be grown as highlanders with good humidity though they may be able to tolerate a few months under intermediate conditions. Many growers use mineral soils or other additives; however, this isn’t absolutely necessary. Our largest plants are established in sphagnum mixes and the largest ones we’ve seen in cultivation have also been kept this way.