Apologies to Monkey Cups


15 Sep 2008 – Ignorance of childhood

Happy Bday ENG Ting Ting, my first blogger friend!

Received a pitcher-plant (cultivated) and find them to be most fascinating and intriguing. They are carnivorous plants whose prey-trapping mechanism features a deep cavity filled with pitfall trap liquid. Tiny flying or crawling inserts are attracted to the cavity formed by the cupped leaf.  The sides of the pitcher are slippery and may be grooved in such a way so as to ensure that the insects cannot climb out. The small bodies of liquid contained within the pitcher traps drown the insect and the body of it is gradually dissolved. Like all carnivorous plants, they occur in locations where the soil is too poor in minerals and/or too acidic for most plants to be able to grow.


Discovered these plants growing wild by our Changi beach house in the early 1950s. On the way down (about 100 steps of concrete stairs) to the beach, these Monkey Cups (was what they were known) flourished where the stairs made a right-angle turn. Being a curious and mischievous child, emptying the liquid seemed fun then, not realizing that childish game probably killed off a few of these wonderful creations. Unfortunately, the house no longer exist (not repossessed but sold and redeveloped in this case).  Being no fan of insects makes me a fan to these plants. If and when they cross my path, they will only be admired with the eyes. The hands will only be on the camera 🙂

Off all the traps and pitfalls in life, self-disesteem is the deadliest and the hardest to overcome, oft it is a pit designed and dug by our own hands, summed up on the phrase: ‘It’s no use; I can’t do it’ – Maxwell Maltz

2 thoughts on “Apologies to Monkey Cups

  1. Hi Sis, Nice… can I take some photos of your pitcher (cultivated) plant soon? 🙂

  2. Thanks for the wishes. These carnivorous plants are fascinating. My son used to keep them and would go hunting for houseflies to feed the plants.

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