Regularity: Regularly occurring
Global Range: Restricted to the central panhandle region of Florida with known occurrences in Gulf, Bay, Franklin, Liberty, and Walton counties.
Distinguished from other southeastern Pinguicula species by corolla lobes longer than broad, uniformly violet to white (no ring of white above the throat), deeper violet in the throat, corolla tube violet, with darker violet veins, and white trichomes on the inner side wall of the corolla tube (Godfrey and Wooten, 1981).
Catalog Number: US 3351922
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): R. K. Godfrey
Year Collected: 1960
Locality: 11 miles S of Sumatra, depression in flatwoods., Franklin, Florida, United States, North America
- Isotype: Godfrey, R. K. 1961. Amer. Midl. Naturalist. 66: 405.
Comments: Open, acidic soils of seepage bogs on gentle slopes, deep quagmire bogs, ditches, and depressions in grassy pine flatwoods and grassy savannas, often occurring in shallow standing water.
Life History and Behavior
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Pinguicula ionantha
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Pinguicula ionantha
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N2 - Imperiled
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G2 - Imperiled
Reasons: Known from about 64 occurrences in the central Florida panhandle counties, with most sites having very few individuals. The species' habitat is declining in extent and quality due to logging and drainage alteration.
Date Listed: 07/12/1993
Lead Region: Southeast Region (Region 4)
Listing status: T
For most current information and documents related to the conservation status and management of Pinguicula ionantha, see its USFWS Species Profile
Comments: Threatened by habitat degradation due to lack of prescribed fire, shading by planted pines, and encroachment of titi (Cyrilla racemiflora and Cliftonia monophylla) into grassy bog and savannah vegetation. Other activities that would make habitat drier or less open such as drainage, conversion of habitat to pasture or row crops, or mechanical soil disruption would all be threats.
Biological Research Needs: Determine the affects of silvicultural and agricultural practices on the species.
Pinguicula ionantha is a rare species of flowering plant in the bladderwort family known by the common names Godfrey's butterwort and violet butterwort. It is endemic to the US state of Florida, where it only occurs in the central Florida Panhandle. It is threatened by the loss of its habitat, and it is a federally listed threatened species of the United States.
This plant is a perennial herb forming a rosette of bright green fleshy leaves with rolled edges. These leaves, each up to 8 centimeters long, are coated with sticky glandular hairs on their upper surfaces. Species in genus Pinguicula are carnivorous plants that use such hairs to trap insects, which they digest for nutrients. The flower is borne on an erect scape up to 15 centimeters tall which forms in February through April. The flower is pale violet with a darker violet throat which may have darker purple veining. The corolla is up to 2 centimeters wide with a greenish spur on the back end about half a centimeter long. At the center of the flower is a conical palate covered in yellow or red hairs. The lobes of the corolla have white hairs.
The plant is known from six counties between Tallahassee and Panama City, Florida. There are 83 historical occurrences, and plants were located at 43% of the sites in recently surveyed. Though drought may have reduced recent plant numbers, the species is believed to be declining overall.
The butterwort grows in bogs located in pine savanna habitat. Lower-elevation bog habitat is dominated by pond cypress (Taxodium ascendens) and adjacent higher-elevation pine flatwoods habitat is dominated by longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) trees. The plant can be found in deep bogs, shallower seeps, wet depressions and puddles, and it may survive underwater for several days at a time after rainfall. Other plants in the habitat include wiregrass (Aristida stricta), panic grass (Panicum spretum), flattened pipewort (Eriocaulon compressum), Chapman's beakrush (Rhynchospora chapmanii). Habitat of this kind is fire-dependent. Wildfire maintains it in a relatively open state, preventing ecological succession from occurring. Without fire the area would become forested as large and woody vegetation grows, shading out the herb layer. Shrubs move in, particularly swamp titi (Cyrilla racemiflora) in this area. When a fire does occur, this rare plant and other native species become more abundant. Fire suppression remains a major threat to the habitat.
Other threats include habitat destruction and modification. Silviculture is common in this section of the Florida Panhandle as natural habitat is cleared of brush and planted in trees for timber. Some tree plantations support the paper pulp industry. The land is also cleared for urban development. Some plants have been observed growing near roads, and road maintenance affects them, and in some cases has led to extirpation. One population was affected by Hurricane Frances in 2004 when the storm surge introduced saltwater to the habitat. In the past, this plant was subject to overcollection by plant enthusiasts. The plant is now in propagation and the International Carnivorous Plant Society has a permit to sell seeds.
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