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Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Pinguicula vulgaris L.
USDA Symbol: PIVU
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
A small plant with stalkless, broadly lanceolate leaves in a basal rosette and 1 bilaterally symmetrical, lavender or purple flower (rarely white) on a leafless stalk.
This species also occurs in Eurasia. The genus name means greasy little one, referring to the slimy upper surface and fatty texture of the soft fleshy leaves. Small organisms that stick to the leaves are digested by the plant. The very similar Violet Butterwort (P. caerulea) is found in sandy moist pinelands, bogs, and ditches from North Carolina south to Florida and Louisiana. Dwarf Butterwort (P. pumila), found from North Carolina south to Florida and Texas, is smaller, with a pale lavender flower less than 1/2 (1.5 cm) long on a stalk usually less than 4 (10 cm) high. Southern Butterwort (P. primuliflora), found from Georgia and Florida west to Mississippi, usually growing in running water, has a violet flower with a white ring in the center and a yellow beard inside the lower lip.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug
AK , ME , MI , MN , NH , NY , VT , WA , WI Canada: NB
, NS Native Distribution:
Alaska and British Columbia east to Newfoundland and Greenland, south to New York, and west to Minnesota; south to northwestern California in the West. Native Habitat:
Bogs, banks, on wet rocks, and in open moist soil in limestone areas. USDA Native Status: L48(N), AK(N), CAN(N),
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Wet
Soil pH: Alkaline (pH>7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
BenefitUse Other: This carnivorous plant has greasy leaves on whose surface insects are caught and digested by enzymes. (Niering)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
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Record Modified: 2010-05-01
Research By: TWC Staff