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Butterwort


These carnivorous plants comprise the genus Pinguicula (pinguis in Latin means "fat") of the bladderwort family (Lentibulariaceae). Currently there are about 80 known species of butterworts and all of them are stemless rosettes (leaves of the same height arranged circularly). Butterworts are flypaper traps similar to sundews.

Trapping system:

Butterworts usually only trap small insects. They use two specialized glands scattered across their leaves to catch and digest insects. Their secretory system functions only once, so a particular area on a particular leaf can only ever digest one insect.
Peduncular glands:(P) a few secretory cells on top of a single stalk cell. They produce sticky glues (mucilaginous secretion) that attract and entrap insects.
Sessile glands:(S) flat on the surface. They secret enzymes to digest the insects.
Unlike sundew tentacles, a butterwort's stalked glands do not move. Their leaves have very limited movement. A butterwort leaf can slowly curl up when a prey is trapped on the surface near a leaf margin.

Tiny insects stuck on Pinguicula gigantea.

A flowering Pinguicula gigantea


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