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Pale Butterwort

A small insectivorous flower found in damp and wet acidic bog and myre.



  • Pale Butterwort: a sticky wicket

    Post date: Thursday, 19 November, 2015 - 00:00

    I expect most of us are familiar with the insectivorous plants known as sundews but perhaps many do not realise that the bogs and fens of the Dorset heath have other such plants that feed on insects; the butterworts. Although much more common on the moors of northern England, Wales and Scotland butterworts can be found here in Dorset and more so the pale butterwort (Pinguicula lusitanica) which has a preference for acidic conditions, its cousin the common butterwort prefers limestone.

    Butterworts have a single small flower on a slender stem that emerges from the centre of a star of olive green, pointed leaves. The leaves are sticky and insects become glued to them. The leaves then curl inwards to cover the victim and the plant dissolves its prey. A bit of a nightmare scenario for the poor insect! The little flower self pollinates and the plant produces hundreds of seeds but this is still not a common plant here despite the seed output. 


Common Name Pale Butterwort
Scientific Name Pinguicula lusitanica
Species Group Insectivorous and Parasitic Plants
Interest Level
Look for
Identification Notes
Primary Habitat
Family Butterwort family - Lentibulariaceae
Status Scarce
Flower Colour Group Purple
  • 06 - June
  • 07 - July
  • 08 - August
  • 09 - September
Preferred Environment
Look for Pale purple flower on a single stem arising from 'rolled' leaves
Additional Identification Notes
Similar Species

The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Notebook Distribution Map Sites List Some Charts Some Photographs Recent Records Guidance Notes

To see related species click here: 

Insectivorous and Parasitic Plants