The never-ending adventures of a travel writer in Vietnam, Cambodia, New Zealand and throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Carnivorous Plants of Bokor Mountain

Earlier this month I visited Bokor Mountain, near Kampot, Cambodia. Below are select photos from the adventure.

A karst wetlands in the middle of the mountain. The limited soil in this limestone environment lacks necessary nutrients for most plant life to thrive, so the plants that grow here (such as carnivorous plants) have special adaptations that allow them to get their nutrients in unique ways. Though the particular species may be unique (even exclusive to this single location), the families of plants and general make-up of the ecosystem is much the same here in tropical Cambodia as it would be in a wetlands in North America. You could find similar (though different species) of carnivorous plants and orchids here as you would in Canada, for example.

Flowers in the wetlands.

A pitcher plant. The pitcher grow at the end of what otherwise look like normal leaves. The pitchers trap and digest insects and possibly other animals. The plants grow about 4.5 feet (1.5 meters) tall.

A different species of low-growing pitcher plants.

A tiny sundew entices ants and other insects with sweet droplets on its leaves, which stick to the prey and wrap around them. The plant then digests them.

Orchids are common in these sorts of wetlands.

A different species of sundew with tall stalks.

A giant millipede. He is curled up as a defense mechanism. When unravelled, he is nearly as long as my hand. Unlike predatory centipedes, millipedes (which mostly eat decaying plants and fungus) are relatively harmless, unless you try to eat them. In this case, they have a tendency to release cyanide...

For those that dreamed of chasing Matt Dillon with firearms through abandoned ruins on a misty mountain top, you might be disappointed that the filming location for City of Ghosts has been 'restored to its former casino glory.' There's actually a very cozy lobby cafe inside, and though rather pricey, the coffee and deserts are spectacular, and the free wifi rather handy. It make a good pit stop after a long, cold, wet drive up and around the mountain.


Unknown said...

cool pitcher plants in cambodia i didnt know that:-)

Fran├žois Sockhom Mey said...


The pitcher plant species is Nepenthes bokorensis. The ground plants are juveniles.

Adam Bray said...

Thank you! That leads me to the description in Wikipedia here:
Its a fantastic plant and a lovely habitat!

Speedracer said...

I've seen sundews growing in the mountains of Japan on rocky canyon walls. I live in New Orleans, and I've seen pitcher plants like that in bogs in the hilly, central portion of Louisiana. Thanks for the post. I found this page by searching for "Bokor Mountain", because a friend - a Casino Consultant - is traveling there. I guess I now know why

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