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Nepenthes gracilis Korth.

Family Name: Nepenthaceae
Synonyms: Nepenthes korthalsiana, Nepenthes longinodis, Nepenthes laevis, Nepenthes angustifolia
Common Name: Slender Pitcher Plant, Periok Kera, Monkey Cup, 猪笼草

This native pitcher plant species is commonly found in Singapore.

Full Sun: 6-8h Semi-Shade Moderate Water Native to Singapore Hanging Basket Climber, Vine and Liana


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names
Species Summary

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Climber, Vine & Liana
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic, Heterotrophic (Insectivorous / Carnivorous)
Maximum Height 2 m to 6 m


Native Distribution Singapore, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, Sulawesi, Sumatera
Native Habitat Terrestrial (Secondary Rainforest)
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Native to Singapore (Common)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form It is a climber up to 6 m long which adopts a trailing habit in the absence of vertical support structures. 
Foliage The pitchers are modified leaves which trap small, crawling insects, such as ants. Insects seeking shelter from the rain under the pitcher lid may find themselves knocked into the pitcher's digestive fluid by rain drops falling hard against the lid. Pitchers in the lower part of the plant vary in colour from orange, maroon, red or green, while those in the upper part are usually green. The leaves are smooth, stalkless and the lower part of the leaf blade partially wraps around the stem.
Stems The upper portion of the reddish purple stem is angular.
Flowers Male and female flowers occur on separate individuals. They lack petals, but have sepals where nectar is deposited by nearby nectaries.
Habitat It occurs in lowland peat swamp forests or disturbed areas with poor soils.
Etymology The genus Nepenthes means the numbing or relieving of pain in Greek. The specific epithet gracilis means slender in Latin referring to the slender shape of the pitcher.
Ethnobotanical Uses Medicinal ( Powdered root used in Malay folk medicine to treat gastrointestinal disorders, stomach ache, dysentery, and as poultice. Stem infusion used to relieve coughs and fevers. Also thought to be effective as emetic to induce vomiting. Fluids from unopened pitchers used as laxatives, as well as to treat burns and skin disorders.)
Cultural / Religious ( Pitchers reportedly used by Malay bomohs (shamans) for spirit exorcisms and religious rites to bring rain.)

Landscaping Features

Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Well-Drained Soils, Poor Infertile Soils, Acidic (low pH) Soils, Waterlogged Soils (Drains Site), Easy to Grow
Landscape Uses Container Planting, Hanging Basket
Thematic Landscaping Carnivorous Garden, Naturalistic Garden
SGMP Treatment

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna) (Insects (Butterfly, Moth), Insects (Ant, Beetle, Fly, Thrip, Wasp))
Seed or Spore Dispersal Abiotic (Explosive Dehiscence)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Semi-Shade, Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Maintenance Requirements Moderate
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth, Leathery
Foliar Modification Pitcher Trap
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Oblong)
Foliar Venation Pinnate / Net
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acuminate
Typical Foliar Area Microphyll ( 2.25cm2 - 20.25 cm2 )
Prominent Young Flush Colour(s) Remarks Velvety Reddish-Brown

Non - Foliar and Storage

Stem Type & Modification Herbaceous
Root Type Underground (Fibrous Root)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Unisexual Flowers
Flower & Plant Sexuality 2 Dioecious
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Inflorescence Type Raceme
Flowering Period Once Yearly
Flowering Habit Polycarpic

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Brown
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Dehiscent Dry Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Capsule

Image Repository



Master ID 162
Species ID 1458
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 22 September 2021.