Pinguicula vulgaris (Common Butterwort)


Summary Information


A rosette-forming, insectivorous perennial herb of damp, nutrient-poor habitats, overwintering as a rootless bud. It is found in bogs, in crevices of irrigated rocks and rock ledges, in base-poor as well as base-rich open flushes, and in open bryophyte-dominated communities in fens. 0-970 m (Beinn Heasgarnich, Mid Perth).



World Distribution

Circumpolar Boreal-montane element, with a disjunct distribution.


Photos Information


Habitats Information

Broad Habitats

Fen, marsh and swamp (not wooded)

Light (Ellenberg): 8 Information

Moisture (Ellenberg): 8 Information

Reaction (Ellenberg): 6 Information

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2 Information

Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0 Information

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3 Information

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 13.6 Information

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1305 Information

Life Form

Life Form Information

Height (cm): 8

Perennation - primary


Perennation - secondary

Life Form - primary


Life Form - secondary



Clonality - primary

Little or no vegetative spread

Clonality - secondary

Detaching ramets at or below ground

Comment on Clonality

"Regularly forms bulbils, averaging only 2 per year; not clear whether these are the main method of reproduction (Heslop-Harrison, Biol. Flora 2004)"


Distribution Information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1523

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 484

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0

Atlas Change Index: -0.76

Weighted Changed Factor: -15

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Conservation Status

Conservation Status Information

Plantatt Conservation Status

Other Accounts

Other Accounts Information


References Information

PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections.
A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Atlas (239b)
Hultén E, Fries M.  1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Rauschert S, Weinert E.  1978.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols.