The Carnivorous Plant FAQ v. 12

Q: What is the genus Paepalanthus like?

A: Paepalanthus is a genus with about 485 species, in the family Eriocaulaceae. This group of plants is related to the bromeliads, and is built on a similar scheme as the putative carnivores from that family--that is, leaves are arranged in a basal rosette around a central cistern.

No doubt for a genus as large as this, molecular studies will demonstrate that it is not monophyletic. This means that botanists will probably split the genus into smaller genera. Keep tuned.

The species Paepalanthus bromelioides is native to the Gran Sabana of Brazil, where it grows with the carnivorous bromeliad Brocchinia reducta. A few dead insects have been found within this plant's acidic central cistern, and it supposedly has "absorbing trichomes". Even so, it has not yet been proven to be carnivorous.

I have seen photographs of what is claimed to be the plant on Japanese web sites, where it was being grown in a peat:perlite mix. I do not know more about cultivation, although I guess it would not be hard to grow as long as you mimicked Gran Sabana conditions.

Page citations: Figueira, et al. 1994; Mabberley, D.J. 1987; other sources.

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Revised: 2018
©Barry Rice, 2018