Tag Archives: nepenthes hamata

The Aftermath: Texas Frightmare Weekend 2019 – 2

Half of the fun in coming out to Texas Frightmare Weekend every year is being able to debut new projects at every one. This year’s Frightmare debut was the Nepenthes hamata enclosure “Z’Ha’Dum” (2019) , and bringing out this one had multiple layers of significance. The first is the most obvious: a sympathetic and very dark audience that stares inside and chuckles “Where the hell did you come up with that?” instead of backing away slowly. The second was that I’ve described the famous upper traps of N. hamata as “resembling a condom designed by Clive Barker,” and everyone at Frightmare gets it even without my having to show pictures. The third and most important reason, though? The third and most important, though, is that longtime attendees have heard me talk about constructing a new enclosure specifically to house a hamata for years, and they weren’t shocked when they came by the booth and discovered that I’d followed through. They were surprised at the backdrop, but mostly they were just thrilled to see one of the great legendary carnivorous plants of the world in close up and in person.

To be continued…

Enclosures: Z’Ha’Dum (2019)

Description: One of the El Dorados of the carnivorous plant world is the highland Asian pitcher plant Nepenthes hamata. Native to Sulawesi, N. hamata is notoriously difficult to keep in captivity, as it requires both cool daytime temperatures and a significant drop in nighttime temperature. The plant keeps attracting devotees, though, because of its distinctive traps: besides its uniquely hairy lid, the main draw involves the peristomes of its lower and upper traps. The sharp serrations on the lips of the lower pitchers are immediately noticeable, but the real draws are the upper pitchers, which bear hooks.

Dimensions (width/height/depth): 18″ x 24″ x 18″ (45.72 cm x 60.96 cm x 45.72 cm)

Plant: Nepenthes hamata

Construction: Glass enclosure. polystyrene foam, vacuum-formed plastic, found items.

Price: $500

Shirt Price: $400

A death in the family

The summer has been rough on all of the plants, and a few casualties were inevitable. Sadly, one of the most poignant for me was the death of the Nepenthes hamata I recently purchased from Sarracenia Northwest. The next time I try this, I’m getting a full air chiller system: it was handling daytime temperatures for the most part, but the house was just getting too warm during the day and wasn’t cooling off enough at night for it. It’s for the best that the Czarina didn’t see my reaction when I discovered it this morning: the last time she’d seen me cry like that, I was watching the end of Alien, when the only well-developed character in the movie besides the cat was blown out the airlock.

“No tears, please. It’s a waste of good suffering.”

As an aside, an otherwise dreadful week was made immeasurably better by the arrival of a new package on Thursday. My personal collection of carnivorous plants is now enhanced with my very own Nepenthes hamata from Sarracenia Northwest. Having just learned about the Nepenthes hamata x truncata hybrid “Predator”, I swear right now that if I ever develop any N. hamata hybrids or cultivars, I’m naming them for Clive Barker and Doug Bradley.

There are people who make you so happy that you wonder how you got through life without their radiance. There are people that make you wish you could win the lottery just so you could give them the money. Then you have people who make you want to break into their houses while they sleep, take tissue samples, and clone them in the millions. Jacob and Jeff at Sarracenia Northwest have that effect.