Monday 30 May 2011

The carnivorous Common Butterwort

The Common Butterwort (Pinguicula vulgaris) which I photographed flowering near Bunnahabhain yesterday is common across Islay while its relative the Pink Butterwort (Pinguicula lusitanica) is rarer. Both have the same outspread rosette of pale leaves covered in a sticky secretion from tiny glands. Small insects landing on them become trapped, the leaf edges roll inwards, and the insect's juices are digested. Both plants grow in poor quality soil and so use this method to boost their nutrient intake.

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