Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

Common butterwort is a perennial plant that spends the winter as a dormant rootless bud (2). The habitats in which it occurs are so poor in nutrients that the evolutionary adaptation of feeding on insects has developed. Other plants living in such habitats, such as sundews, have also developed this trait.
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Description

Butterwort is an insectivorous plant. It produces bright purple flowers that have earned the species the alternative names of bog violet and marsh violet (4). The bright yellowish-green leaves feature numerous glands that secrete a sticky fluid which attracts insects. When the insects become trapped, the leaf slowly curls inwards and eventually the insect will be digested (5). The species is known as butterwort as it was thought to have magical properties and the juices from the leaves were rubbed onto cows' udders in order to protect the milk (and resulting butter) from evil influences (4).
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There are about 80 species of butterwort. These plants trap insects on their sticky leaves. The leaves then digest the insects. Many butterworts have different leaves in winter that do not eat insects. The Common butterwort lives in marshes, bogs, and swamps around the world. Its purple flowers have given it the name marsh violet or bog violet.

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Distribution

Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Pinguicula vulgaris L.:
Canada (North America)
Greenland (North America)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Global Range: In North America, this circumboreal species ranges from Labrador to Alaska, south to northern New England, New York, Michigan, Minnesota, and Oregon.

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Range

This species is fairly common throughout much of Britain, with the exception of central and southern England where it becomes rare and is even absent from several counties (2). In these areas, the species has declined by a worrying 50% since 1930, but many of its sites were lost before the nineteenth century (3).
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Ecology

Habitat

Found in nutrient-poor damp habitats, including bogs, fens, wet heaths and in rock crevices (2) (3).
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Associations

Animal / predator
leaf of Pinguicula vulgaris is predator of adult of Diptera
Other: major host/prey

Animal / predator
leaf of Pinguicula vulgaris is predator of adult of Hymenoptera
Other: major host/prey

Animal / predator
leaf of Pinguicula vulgaris is predator of adult of Formicidae
Other: minor host/prey

Animal / predator
leaf of Pinguicula vulgaris is predator of adult of Coleoptera
Other: minor host/prey

Animal / predator
leaf of Pinguicula vulgaris is predator of adult of Lepidoptera
Other: minor host/prey

Animal / predator
leaf of Pinguicula vulgaris is predator of adult of Araneae

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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: > 300

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Pinguicula vulgaris

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 17
Specimens with Barcodes: 35
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Environmental Specificity: Narrow to moderate.

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Status

Not threatened (3).
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Threats

Degree of Threat: Low

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The decline of this species is due to the widespread loss and drainage of the wet habitats in which it occurs. Agricultural intensification is also to blame, and the decline of common butterwort is continuing today (3).
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Management

Conservation

Conservation action has not been targeted at this species.
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Wikipedia

Pinguicula vulgaris

Whole plant, Norway
Pinguicula vulgaris near Mývatn, northern Iceland

Pinguicula vulgaris, the Common butterwort, is a perennial carnivorous plant in the Lentibulariaceae family. It grows to a height of 3–16 cm, and is topped with a purple, and occasionally white, flower that is 15 mm or longer, and shaped like a funnel. This butterwort grows in damp environs such as bogs and swamps, in low or subalpine elevations.[1] It has a generally circumboreal distribution, being native to almost every country in Europe as well as Russia, Canada, and the United States. Being native to environments with cold winters, they produce a winter-resting bud (hibernaculum) during the winter.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Plants of the Pacific Northwest. Lone Pine Publishing, 1994. p. 351
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