Photo: Pinguicula vulgaris

Pinguicula vulgaris L.

Common Butterwort

Habitat: Wet, circumneutral rocks and ledges in subalpine areas. [Rocky summits and outcrops (non-forested, upland)]

Range: Labrador to Alaska, south to northern New England, New York, Michigan, Minnesota, and Oregon.

Photo: Pinguicula vulgaris habitat

Aids to Identification: The violet, spurred, and 5-lobed flower of common butterwort combined with the basal rosette of 3-6 shiny, sticky leaves with rolled-in edges makes this species easily identifiable.

Ecological characteristics: Common butterwort is one of several species of plants in Maine that grow in nutrient poor habitats and rely upon insects as a supplemental nutrient source. Tiny insects are entrapped on the sticky surface of the butterwort leaves where they are then digested.

Photo: Pinguicula vulgaris

Phenology: Flowers June - July.

Family: Lentibulariaceae

Synonyms: Represented in Maine and New England by ssp. vulgaris. No synonyms noted.

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 1 town(s) in the following county(ies): Franklin.

Reason(s) for rarity: At southern limit of range.

Photo: Pinguicula vulgaris

Conservation considerations: The single known population is not large, but is in a remote location where it is not particularly vulnerable to human acitivities.