The high plateaus of Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela
are home to the 23 known species of genus Heliamphora, the only indigenous pitcher
plant genus of South America. These flat-topped mountains,
known as tepuis, rise thousands of feet above the warm
savannas and tropical rainforests of the land below. The intense
sunlight is tempered by extreme rainfall and cool mists.
Frequent pounding rains wash away topsoil and the plants
must anchor themselves in debris-filled rocky cracks
and hollows. Daytime temperatures on the plateaus average
between 8 to 20 Celsius (46 - 68 F) with nighttime lows
of 5 - 10 C (40 - 50 F).
In cultivation, simulating the tepuis environment can
be challenging, due to the difficulty of simultaneously providing intense light,
cool daytime temperatures and high humidity. Fortunately, Sun Pitchers have
proven to be adaptable to less than optimum conditions and many growers are
successfully cultivating the plants in terrariums or cool greenhouses. Live
sphagnum moss or other long-fibered mosses are suitable media.