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Carnivorous Plants - Pinguicula primuliflora - Early May, 2009.
by Makoto Honda
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2009-December-24

Of all six temperate butterworts growing in the American Southeast, Pinguicula primuliflora is most widely grown horticulturally, most readily available, and perhaps easiest to grow and flower. Ironically, this species is getting less and less common in the wild lately. In the Gulf Coast, the other 5 species - though different in their specific range - can be seen in the grass-covered savanna, sometimes together in the same roadside ditches and on the grass-covered sand surface. Not P. primuliflora. This species almost never occur in the same grassland where the other butterworts are found. P. primuliflora seems to have a very specific habitat requirement, and found only on the edges of streams, ponds and lakes. Thanks to Randy Zerr of Florida, I was able to see some natural habitats of P. primuliflora inside Eglin Air Force Base in western Florida. The time was early May, 2009.

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Sometimes a clump of plants are found floating on the pond surface.

 
Carnivorous Plants in the Wilderness: Pinguicula primuliflora




Carnivorous Plants in the Wilderness: Pinguicula primuliflora

 

To my surprise, many plants were still in flower in early May in this habitat.
Flowering P. primuliflora clinging to the base of a cypress tree in a pond.


Carnivorous Plants in the Wilderness: Pinguicula primuliflora

 

A clump of flowering P. primuliflora plants.


Carnivorous Plants in the Wilderness: Pinguicula primuliflora

 


Carnivorous Plants in the Wilderness: Pinguicula primuliflora

 

Characteristic leaf-budding often results in a dense clump of plants in the wild. Pinguicula primuliflora is a large butterwort and a leaf may reach as long as 10 cm.


Carnivorous Plants in the Wilderness: Pinguicula primuliflora

 

Although Pinguicula primuliflora is probably the easiest butterwort to grow, I have never seen cultivated plants exhibiting this "wild" look of the plants seen in their natural habitats. In cultivation, the vegetative part of the plants become almost  indistinguishable from, say, P. lutea and P. caerulea.
The flower characteristics appear to be the same between cultivated plants and wild populations.


Carnivorous Plants in the Wilderness: Pinguicula primuliflora

 


Carnivorous Plants in the Wilderness: Pinguicula primuliflora

 


Carnivorous Plants in the Wilderness: Pinguicula primuliflora
 


Carnivorous Plants in the Wilderness: Pinguicula primuliflora

 


Carnivorous Plants in the Wilderness: Pinguicula primuliflora

 

A flower in cultivation


Carnivorous Plants in the Wilderness: Pinguicula primuliflora

 

A palate and characteristic hairs.


Carnivorous Plants in the Wilderness: Pinguicula primuliflora

 

Corolla removed to show the pistil and stamens.


Carnivorous Plants in the Wilderness: Pinguicula primuliflora

 

The receptive surface of the stigma.


Carnivorous Plants in the Wilderness: Pinguicula primuliflora

 

Two stamens arch around the round ovary.


Carnivorous Plants in the Wilderness: Pinguicula primuliflora

 


Carnivorous Plants in the Wilderness: Pinguicula primuliflora

 

 

 

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