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PINGUICULA vulgaris

Image of Pinguicula vulgaris

Family

Lentibulariaceae

Botanical Name

PINGUICULA vulgaris

Plant Common Name

Common Butterwort

General Description

Found in moist habitats in northern latitudes worldwide, this small insectivorous perennial is grown for its charming flowers and curious bug-trapping leaves.

This cold-hardy plant produces rosettes of greasy, tongue-shaped, yellow- to pale-green leaves that glisten with numerous blunt, droplet-producing, insect-snaring hairs. The leaf margins roll inward to further ensnare trapped insects, which are digested by glands on the leaf surface. The leaves die back in fall to a fat bud-like winter rosette. In late spring or summer small, two-lipped, violet-purple flowers are borne on short leafless stems. The five-lobed flowers have a back-projecting spur. Plants may self sow in moist environments, with hybrid seedlings sometimes resulting.

Common butterwort thrives in moist, alkaline to acidic, infertile soil in full to partial sun. It requires cold winters and mild summers. Use it in peat beds or moist rock gardens, or in containers such as terrariums. Propagate it by seed or by separating offsets from dormant rosettes in early spring.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    6 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    2 - 6

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    3"-6" / 7.6cm - 15.2cm

  • Width

    3"-5" / 7.6cm - 12.7cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer

  • Native To

    Northeastern United States, North-Central United States, Northwestern United States, Alaska, Canada, Northern Europe, Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Rosette/Stemless

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Purple, Violet

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green, Yellow Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Light Green, Yellow Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Light Green, Yellow Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Alpine, Bog Garden, Container, Houseplant, Rock Garden / Wall, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes