Pinguicula vulgaris

Botanical Name : Pinguicula vulgaris
Family: Lentibulariaceae
Genus: Pinguicula
Species: P. vulgaris
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Name:Butterwort,Common butterwort

Habitat :Pinguicula vulgaris is native to almost every country in Europe as well as Russia, Canada, and the United States.

Description:
Pinguicula vulgaris is a perennial carnivorous plant in the Lentibulariaceae family.It is a small plant with rosettes of light green to yellow green leaves .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.Being native to environments with cold winters, they produce a winter-resting bud (hibernacula) during the winter


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Small insects are trapped on their leaf surfaces with mucilage secreted by microscopic glands. Since they absorb the insect nutrients, they are considered to be carnivorous! They do well in terrariums with other carnivorous plants such as Dionaeas and Droseras.

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Blooming Time: The small ¾ inch (2 cm) flowers have a slender spur that is violet to purple.

Cultivation:Pinguicula vulgaris need full sun to partial shade and prefer to be planted in an acidic, well-drained moist to wet soil. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of equal parts of fine sand and sphagnum. In a terrarium, you will need to add at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) of horticultural charcoal before adding the soil mix. If grown in containers, the container should be placed in trays with at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water at all times. They should be watered with distilled water or rainwater because they will not tolerate the chemicals in city water or the hardness of our well water. Do not fertilize as this will also damage the plants. During the winter months, restrict the water somewhat, but never allow the plants to dry completely.

Propagation: Pinguicula vulgaris is propagated from seed, from offsets or by single leaves laid on moist sand.

Medicinal Uses:
Although the plant is protected in Europe, a Swiss medical laboratory used to carry on a profitable traffic, illegally importing hundreds of pounds of butterwort leaves from France, which it used to manufacture a cough syrup.  Whole stations of this uncommon plant were destroyed in the process.  Butterwort is rarely employed in European herbal medicine today.  Its main use is as a cough remedy, with properties similar to those of sundew, another insect-eating plant.  Butterwort may be used to treat chronic and convulsive coughs.  The thick plantain-shaped leaves were used for application to sores and chapped hands.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinguicula_vulgaris
http://www.plantoftheweek.org/week233.shtml

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