Nepenthes x briggsiana 'Hortus Botanicus' (lowii x ventricosa)
An interesting and beautiful hybrid that is the reverse cross of the classic N. x briggsiana. Here, N. lowii is the female and N. ventricosa is the pollen parent.
Newest pitcher is massive!! February 2021
Love the stripey ribbed peristome! February 2021
My very first pitcher with lid hairs! February 2021
Love the defined waist on these pitchers! February 2021
Lovely shape and cherry red striping on the peristome! September 2020
Interesting variation in color of the pitchers - compare newly opened pitcher in the front to the uniformly red pitcher in the back. March 2020
N. x briggsiana 'Hortus Botanicus' is a cross between a female lowii and a male ventricosa. This cross originated from Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam, Netherlands, which was established in 1638 and is one of the oldest and largest botanical gardens in the world. I have not been able to find information yet on how old this cross actually is, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was one of the original Victorian era Nepenthes hybrids. Incredibly, Hortus Botanicus is still a public botanical garden to this day and I hope to visit it (and the Kew Gardens!) at some point in my life.
New pitchers getting curvier! October 2020
Starting to get some nice shape! October 2020
I obtained mine as a rooted cutting from a Sam Bookhardt in October 2019. When I received it I was running low on pots and made the mistake of potting it into a too-large pot. At the time I didn't know that N. lowii are highly epiphytic Nepenthes that draw most of their water from their traps and very little through their roots, a characteristic that is apparently shared by this N. x briggsiana. Putting the plant in a too large pot guaranteed that the underdeveloped root system stayed too wet for too long and this greatly slowed the acclimation period on my plant. Rather than shock it again with another repot, I started to water it far less frequently and let the soil dry out more between waterings. I also increased the light intensity by moving it closer to the window. The plant finally started pitchering vigorously in March 2020. Curiously, the smaller and earlier pitchers were uniformly dark red and more closely resembled the Peter D'Amato clone of N. x briggsiana. After increasing the light intensity, reducing water, and inducing more vigorous growth, the new pitchers are much lighter in color and now more closely resemble other confirmed clones of Hortus Botanicus. I particularly love how the peristome matures over time to a darkly striped cherry red and how much it stands out against the light green and elegantly shaped pitcher body. Pitcher texture also takes after the lowii parent and are hard and almost woody, lasting for many months.
Growth slowing down? Might be a basal!
Love how long lived the pitchers are <3
Suspicious lack of pitchers for a month...
What a pleasant surprise!
Occasionally my Nepenthes have a conspicuous lack of new pitchers - the entire plant seems to stall growth for several weeks or months. Often the plant is working on a basal! This is wonderful news! Basals are miniature copies of the mother plant that form near the base of the main stem. I like to have two growth points on my Nepenthes because I love having lots of pitchers on one plant. Extra basals can also be cut off and rooted, then traded or sold! Predatory Plants has an excellent video overview on basals and how to root them.
Current Growing Conditions: South-Facing Living Room Window Light: ~260 - 460 PPFD or 16530 - 20110 Lux (depends on the weather outside) - Can withstand high light conditions without sunburn Humidity: ~80% night and 55% day Temperature: ~68F night and 90F day (depends on weather outside) Water: Let dry slightly between watering - do not overpot! Potting Mix: 100% long fibered sphagnum - Definitely switch to a much airier mix for this hybrid due to lowii parentage Fertilizer: MaxSea (1/4 tsp/gallon) every other week into pitchers Additional Notes: A medium to slow grower in my current conditions, I anticipate more vigorous growth after repotting into an appropriately sized pot and airy media. Pitchers last forever! Likes to ooze copious amouts of nectar. Available only through rooted cuttings, but cuttings reportedly easily root in water or long fibered sphagnum moss.