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Pinguicula pumila (Small butterwort)
Cressler, Alan

Pinguicula pumila

Pinguicula pumila Michx.

Small Butterwort, Bog Violet, Dwarf Butterwort

Lentibulariaceae (Bladderwort Family)

Synonym(s): Pinguicula pumila var. buswellii

USDA Symbol: PIPU4

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Small Butterwort grows 6-8 inches tall above a basal rosette of broad, succulent leaves. The few leaves form a rosette at the base of the plant and have a sticky surface that captures small insects. The margin of the leaf rolls inward over the insect until it is digested. Atop each flower stem is 1 flower, whitish, bluish or pale violet, about 3/4 inch across, funnel-shaped, somewhat 2-lipped, with 5 petal-like lobes and a spur at the base, like a larkspur.

All Pinguicula spp. bear short glandular hairs, and clammy leaves designed to trap small insects.


From the Image Gallery

16 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 8 inches tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Blue , Violet
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov


USA: AL , FL , GA , LA , MS , NC , OK , SC , TX
Native Distribution: Coastal plain from s.e. NC to s.e. TX
Native Habitat: Moist, sandy pinelands and savannas

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moist, acid, poor nutritive soils.
Conditions Comments: Prefers moist, damp areas.


Interesting Foliage: yes


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

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.


Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

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

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter 1996 VOL. 13, NO.2 - Annual Wildflower Days Festival, Wildflower Center Hotline, The Visitor Experien...

Additional resources

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


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

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