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Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Pinguicula vulgaris L.
Synonym(s): Pinguicula vulgaris var. americana
USDA Symbol: PIVU
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
, 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.
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
National Wetland Indicator Status
|Status:|| OBL || OBL || OBL |
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
Record Last Modified: 2010-05-01
Research By: TWC Staff