Nepenthes hybrids marketed by Marcel Lecoufle
A legend in the orchid world (for five generations!), Marcel Lecoufle had the facilities and knowledge to grow and sell carnivorous plants as a side business. He got involved with Nepenthes hybrids in times when not much was known about Nepenthes taxonomy, even less by him. I visited his nursery (circa 1990) and I took some pictures. They might help someone to identify something:
photo 1, photo 2, photo 3, photo 4, photo 5, photo 6, photo 7, photo 8, photo 9, photo 10, photo 11, photo 12.
About his hybrids:
N. x boissiensis: according to the Carnivorous Plant Database (CPD), it's N. ampullaria x gracilis x khasiana x rafflesiana. The name comes from Lecoufle's nursery at Boissy-Saint-Léger. It was bred and grown as of 1955 by Lecoufle-Bert and it was published in 1959. Lecoufle's daughters and granddaughters bear the surname Bert or Bert-Lecoufle, so I'm not sure about who in the family dealt with N. x boissiensis. It circulated mostly as N. x boissiense and N. x boissiense var. rubra, and the name was then corrected on the CPD. A quick internet search for the hybrid shows both N. mirabilis and a nicer plant that could be the real deal. Richard Sivertsen reports that the hybrid was a cross between N. "superba" and N. "gracilis", but N. "superba" was not N. ampullaria x gracilis x khasiana x rafflesiana (N. x superba, 1880), but N. maxima x northiana (N. 'Superba', 1931), while N. "gracilis" was not N. gracilis. That would make it N. maxima x northiana x ?.
N. x lecouflei: according to the CPD, it's N. mirabilis x "thorelii". It was published (nom. nud.) in 1983 by Kusakabe based on a plant grown by Lecoufle. The type, possibly from Kampot in Cambodia, is supposed to be at herbarium P but I couldn't find it. I don't know when the confusion started, however: the photo of N. x lecouflei on the back of Lecoufle's book shows N. mirabilis (note the broad leaves, their petiole, and the lack of any leaf base decurrency); I saw a photo of N. x lecouflei on the website of the nursery Nature et Paysages, the owner Jean-Jacques Labat confirmed that the plant came directly from Lecoufle, and to me that was N. mirabilis as well.
N. 'Île de France': according to the CPD, it's N. maxima x mirabilis x northiana x "thorelii". It was bred and grown by Yvon Vézier at the Botanic Garden of Rouen as of 1981. The Île de France is the metropolitan area of Paris, where Boissy-Saint-Léger is also located. The hybrid was named by Lecoufle, it was published (nom. nud.) in 1983 by Kusakabe based on a plant grown by Lecoufle, it was described in 1986 in Adrian Slack's book, and finally it was officially registered in 2000 by Jan Schlauer. A search on the internet suggests that this could be a cross between N. x mixta and N. mirabilis (compare my screenshot with N. x leessii). I wonder if said N. mirabilis was the above N. x lecouflei, thought to be N. mirabilis x "thorelii".
N. 'Sens': the CPD gives this as ? x ?, but I placed it under N. maxima x northiana. The story goes that Lecoufle got this unnamed hybrid at the Botanic Garden of Sens, 80 km south-east of Boissy-Saint-Léger. The name was given by Lecoufle but the hybrid was published (but not registered) in 1998 in Peter D'Amato's book. This was the very first Nepenthes that I saw live. I bought it from Lecoufle in the early 1990s. It only had one pitcher, an upper pitcher, about 15 cm long. I couldn't even believe that it was real. Today, I would say that it was the typical upper pitcher of N. x mixta. Apart the fact that I didn't know much about Nepenthes cultivation, I remember how difficult that plant was compared to the ones I bought later (N. x coccinea and another hybrid), which matches with N. x mixta. I still have a couple of photos, and the leaves also seem to match: photo1, photo2. D'Amato produced three cultivars with N. 'Sens' (all N. "alata" x truncata x 'Sens'), so he should have a pretty healthy specimen.
N. 'Ville de Rouen': according to the CPD, it's N. ampullaria x gracilis x khasiana x rafflesiana x sanguinea. It was bred and grown by Yvon Vézier at the Botanic Garden of Rouen as of 1981. The hybrid was named by Lecoufle, it was published (nom. nud.) in 1983 by Kusakabe based on a plant grown by Lecoufle, it was described in 1986 in Adrian Slack's book, and finally it was officially registered in 1998 by Jan Schlauer. There's an old article online that gives more certainties: photo1, photo2. It's a cross between N. "superba" and N. x mastersiana. As in the case of N. x boissiensis, N. "superba" was probably not N. ampullaria x gracilis x khasiana x rafflesiana (N. x superba, 1880), but N. maxima x northiana (N. 'Superba', 1931). And N. x mastersiana should be N. khasiana x sanguinea, but I don't know how sure that N. khasiana is. So, possibly N. khasiana? x maxima x northiana x sanguinea. Apart from the article, the photos online are very confusing: the page of the Botanic Garden of Rouen shows N. x mixta (crossed with something else?) labelled as N. 'Ville de Rouen', and what seems N. 'Ville de Rouen' labelled as N. 'Île de France'. Other photos online show again what seems a N. maxima hybrid and what seems N. 'Île de France', both labelled as N. 'Ville de Rouen'.