Attraction > Flora
- Last Updated: Monday, 27 July 2015 02:52
Go explore the forests of Penang Hill, and discover interesting plants such as tropical oak trees and also the interesting carnivorous pitcher plant. Marvel at the tree Ferns and cycads which remained largely unchanged since the Jurassic period!
The Pitcher plant, a member of the Nepenthes genus, is locally known as the Monkey Cup. True to its name, the plant produces pitchers at the tips of their leaves.
Innocent as it may appear, the pitcher is actually a deadly trap. The rim of the pitcher produces a secretion which attracts insects to it.As insect lands on the slippery rim, it experiences a slippery landing, right into the pool of water at the base of the pitcher.
This liquid contains a digestive enzyme, which will slowly digest and turn the insect into a broth. The decomposed product is then absorbed by the plants as food.
The species commonly found in Penang Hill is the Nepenthes albmarginata, which has a white ring just below the rim, as the name amplies.
If I were asked to suggest the name of a flower that would best represent Penang Hill, or for that matter Penang Island, it would be the orchid flower Paphiopedilum barbatum or Slipper Orchid. The flower is known and sought after throughout the world.
In earlier days, the plant could be found growing luxuriantly on rocks in the cool, shady environment of the hill forest. Unfortunately these plants are being stripped from their natural habitat and exported overseas where they are in great demand. It is indeed sad that this has to happen.