This is a brief description of the Padawan Pitcher Plant Garden in Kota Padawan, which is about thirty minutes drive south of Kuching, Sarawak.
It serves as a lovely introduction and an opportunity to have a closer look at the various types of pitcher plants found in Borneo, particularly in Sarawak.
Quick Facts About Pitcher Plants
Nephentes is the scientific name for these carnivorous plants and there are about fifteen species altogether in Borneo.
They can be found mainly in low lying areas and some species thrive in the highlands.
Pitcher plants need ants and so do ants need them.
Padawan Pitcher Plant Garden
Padawan pitcher plant garden is located in Kota Padawan, 20 kilometres south of Kuching or a mere thirty minutes drive.
The garden was first opened in 2004 and underwent some renovation work in 2013 adding wild orchids and other exotic plants around the Padawan area.
It has about thirty five species and sub species of pitcher plants on display.
Local cooking pots
One of the most common species one can find in the garden is the Nepenthes ampullaria, the broad and round pitcher with tiny upper lids held away from its opening.
This lower pitcher grows in clusters and comes in brownish red and green colours. Nephentes Ampuralia is also the common plant used by the locals, especially the Bidayuh community to cook one of their signature delicacy. The pulut teramuok which is steamed glutinous rice cooked in the Nephentes Ampuralia.
If you need to try pulut teramuok, it is on sale at Siniawan night market.
Nepenthes Rafflesiana is one species that caught my attention. This lowland tropical pitcher plant has large, colorful pitchers and prominent wings.
Once grown to full maturity the Nepenthes rafflesiana produces extremely large pitchers that can reach over one foot in height.
The Nepenthes Rafflesiana if I am not mistaken is endemic to Borneo.
The nursery inside the Padawan Pitcher Plant Garden is relatively quite comprehensive in size.
You can have some understanding on how to cultivate pitcher plants.
The only thing is that there are no pitcher plants for sale. I guess it is due to the fact that the laws of Sarawak have categorised all nepenthes as totally protected and is considered an offence if sold.
There are a few Instaworthy spots in this garden.
This giant fern is something that seems like to come out from the Jurassic Park movie.
My wild guess is that this is probably the most favourite spot in the garden for taking selfies and wefies.
The water feature has a nice cute little bridge and also a nice mini waterfall in the background which makes this spot picturesque.
Here is another good spot to take Wefie and selfies, at this huge printed collage of various nepenthes plants at the garden.
Tour of this garden took me and my colleagues over an hour to complete. I just wish the garden was slightly more bigger.
Overall I enjoyed the experience and would recommend that you combine this with a visit to the Semenggoh Orangutan Centre which is just down the road.
Other travel information
1. Entrance Fees:
RM 3.00 for Malaysians
RM 6.00 for non Malaysians
2. Operating hours :
Closed on Mondays
Tuesday to Friday from 9.00 am to 4.00 pm
Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.
Till my next Bejalai, take care.