Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pinguicula ehlersiae

This neat little Mexican butterwort is flowering in the UConn greenhouses right now. Mexico is a hotspot of butterwort diversity, with about 25 different species. Pinguicula ehlersiae, like the majority of Mexican species in the genus, shows strongly seasonal growth. During the summer, when it tends to be rainy and humid in its habitat, it produces large, flat leaves that catch small insects in sticky secretions. In winter, P. ehlersiae grows the stubby, succulent leaves seen here, and can withstand a certain amount of drought. One usually thinks of carnivorous plants like the butterworts as being denizens of bogs and other wet places, but some Mexican Pinguicula grow right next to cacti, agaves, and other familiar succulent plants.


Alex said...

Very nice! I do love CP's. I'll bet you have a great display of Mex Pings there this time of year. As you point out, that group grows in some strange places. I love when a CP shows up somewhere surprising.

Matt said...

Alex: there are a couple of Mexican pings flowering right now, but we don't have that many in the University collections. Conditions in the greenhouse are so-so for them, probably a bit too cold and humid for them in winter.