Phillipps, Anthea, Anthony Lamb, Ch`ien C Lee

All the 36 species of pitcher plants currently known from the island of Borneo are covered in this lavishly illustrated second edition. The main focus of the book lies in the accounts of these species, written in an accessible style and including quotes from the works of the old explorers and collectors as well as personal anecdotes from the diaries of Susan Phillipps, whose delightful watercolours are widely used to illustrate the species.

In the first edition (1996), 32 species were covered. The names of some of these have since been changed, new species have been discovered and described and a wider variety of natural hybrids have been illustrated. The taxonomy has been completely updated, largely following that of Cheek & Jebb (2001). The book has also been greatly enhanced by the excellent photographs of Ch’ien C. Lee, who has joined the team of Phillipps and Lamb for this second edition.

The chapter on Discovery and History, with its fascinating insight into the role of pitcher plants in Victorian society with historical photographs and paintings, has been maintained, as have the chapters on Folklore, The Pitcher Plant and Ecology, which have been greatly updated and expanded with new information from research over the last 12 years, that makes it clear that these fascinating plants are even more complex that was thought when the first edition was written.

The worldwide interest in pitcher plants that has exploded since the first edition means that many more people are growing these plants as a hobby, especially now that tissue-cultured material is available at very reasonable prices; this has made the new chapter on Cultivation by Ch’ien C. Lee a useful addition.

The non-scientific but informative style of the first edition has been maintained, and this, combined with the greatly increased number of excellent photographs, will make this book indispensable to the naturalist or hobbyist as well as the scientific researcher.

Author(s): Anthea Phillipps, Anthony Lamb and Ch’ien C. Lee

Anthea Phillipps was brought up in Sabah in a family of keen naturalists. She graduated in Botany from Durham University UK, and worked for three years with the Sabah Museum. She then joined the Sabah Parks as the Ecologist at the Kinabalu Park from 1980-1987, specialising in herbs and shrubs. She is the author of A Guide to Sabah Parks and Sabah’s Maliau Basin and also a joint author of Rhododendrons of Sabah and A Visitor’s Guide to Kinabalu Park. Her mother, Susan M. Phillipps, took up painting the flora in Sabah over many years including many of the pitcher plants illustrated in this book.

Anthony Lamb after graduating from Cambridge University, England arrived in Sabah in 1962 and served in the Department of Agriculture for 39 years but, before retiring, he expanded into horticulture. From 1976 he took up the study and photography of native plants as a hobby, starting with orchids, and teamed up with Dr George Argent, Anthea Phillipps and Sheila Collenette in 1980 to work jointly on a book of the Rhododendrons of Sabah for the Sabah Parks (now revised and expanded), which entailed field trips to most of the mountains in the State. Lately he has been revising a new edition of The Orchids of Mount Kinabalu, and also working on books on Gingers, Native Fruits and Hoyas. He has also submitted several articles on Orchids for the new Malesian Orchid Journal. He married Anthea Phillipps in 1987, and continues working on plants in the Herbaria at Sandakan and Kinabalu Park.

Ch’ien Lee holds a B.Sc. in Biology/Ecology from the University of California Santa Cruz, where his intense fascination with Nepenthes began when he took a position caring for the carnivorous plant collection. He has worked as a naturalist in California parks, doing public education on his favourite topics including ethnobotany, entomology, and mammal tracking. In 1996, he moved to Sarawak where he spearheaded a Nepenthes propagation programme, including a tissue culture laboratory, at Malesiana Tropicals. Ch’ien has travelled widely in Southeast Asia, doing nature photography and continuing his field studies of Nepenthes. He has worked as a consultant with the Sarawak Forestry Corporation in Kuching and is now a professional photographer. In 2004, he co-authored the book Pitcher Plants of Sarawak with Dr Charles Clarke.

In stock


Natural History Publications, (Borneo),  July 2008.  298 pages,  dustwrapper, colour illustrations.