Members of the genus Nepenthes are insectivorous plants with a special organ shaped like a pitcher for catching insects. The edge and inner sides of the pitcher are covered with glands which secrete a liquid that attracts insects. It has a lid and a smooth, swollen edge down which the victim readily slides. Once inside it is unable to get out. In the bottom of the pitcher is an acid liquid containing pepsin, an enzyme that digests the insect body. The pitchers of the illustrated species, which may be up to 30 cm (12 inch) long, are yellow-green in colour. The lower part is spotted red and the edge is coloured chestnut brown. Nepenthes includes about 70 species. Hybrid species are most commonly grown because they are hardier and often more decorative than the type species.
For good growth, the plants require light, but not direct sunlight, the whole year, as well as highand plenty of fresh air. The heat requirements differ according to the species. The most suitable growing medium is a mixture of polypodium , sphagnum moss, coarse mould, crushed bark, sand and charcoal.