First thing’s first; Heliamphora ionasi is the correct spelling of this beautiful sun pitcher plant and H. ionasii (extra “i“), while cooler, is a common misspelling. Whew. Now, with that out of the way, let’s dive into the fascinating facts behind this Heliamphora.
Heliamphora ionasi is named after Jonah Boyan, a gentleman who co-discovered it on an expedition led by Bassett Maguire. They wanted to honor Jonah, but also use a Roman Latin name. Because Roman Latin lacks the letter J, Jonah’s name morphed into “ionasi.”
H. ionasi is known to grow between 5,900-7,050 feet (1,800-2,510 meters) in a single valley between Ilu and Tramen tepuis in the eastern part of Gran Sabana. It avoids the summits of Ilu and Tramen tepuis, and instead prefers the company of H. elongata and their hybrid children in the Ilu-Tramen Valley.