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Pinguicula lutea (Yellow butterwort)
Cressler, Alan

Pinguicula lutea

Pinguicula lutea Walter

Yellow Butterwort

Lentibulariaceae (Bladderwort Family)


USDA Symbol: PILU2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A perennial to 20 in. with broad, sticky, succulent leaves in a basal rosette. One to eight flowering stems arise from the rosette and are topped by yellow, spurred flowers. Flower stems are leafless and glandular. All Pinguicula spp. bear short glandular hairs, and clammy leaves designed to trap small insects.

Insects trapped by the sticky leaves of butterworts are digested by enzymes secreted by the leaves, which then absorb the nutrients. The genus name derives from the Latin pinguis ("fat") and alludes to the greasy-feeling upper surface of the leaves.


From the Image Gallery

11 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 20 inches tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun


USA: AL , FL , GA , LA , MS , NC , SC
Native Distribution: Coastal plain from s.e. LA to FL & s.e. NC
Native Habitat: Moist savannas & thin pinewoods

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moist, acid, poor nutritive soils.


Description: Sow butterwort seeds as soon as mature on damp, long-fiber sphagnum. Keep moist is partial sunlight for germination in 90 days.
Commercially Avail: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

Status: OBL FACW
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.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS

Web Reference

Webref 57 - Atlas of Florida Plants (2020) Institute for Systematic Botany
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Pinguicula lutea in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Pinguicula lutea in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Pinguicula lutea


Record Modified: 2023-02-23
Research By: TWC Staff

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