Cephalotus follicularis West Australian pitcher

Cephalotus follicularis  is a small, low growing, herbaceous species. Evergreen leaves appear from underground rhizomes, are simple with an entire leaf blade, and lie close to the ground. The carnivorous leaves are small and have the appearance of moccasins, forming the 'pitcher' of the common name. The pitchers develop a dark red colour in high light levels but stay green in shadier conditions. The foliage is a basal arrangement that is closely arranged with outward facing adapted leaf blades. These leaves give the main form of the species, the height is around 2 to 3 cm

The 'pitcher' trap of the species is similar to other pitcher plants. The peristome at the entrance of the trap has a spiked arrangement that allows the prey to enter, but hinders its escape. The lid over the entrance, prevents rainwater entering the pitcher and thus diluting the digestive enzymes inside. Insects trapped in this digestive fluid are consumed by the plant. The operculum has translucent cells which confuse its insect prey as they appear to be patches of sky.

We grow these plants year round in our unheated greenhouse, we stand the plants on damp capillary mat and never water the plants from above , I have also been successful with Cephalotus in th past growing on a North facing windowsill indoors year round keeping the plant just damp in a tray of capillary mat.

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