Pinguicula moranensis var. neovolcanica

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Family : Lentibulariaceae

Genus : Pinguicula

NamePinguicula moranensis var. neovolcanica


Sub-classification (Casper) : link

Publication : By Sergio Zamudio, in "Notas sobre la identidad de Pinguicula moranensis H.B.K., con la descripcion de una variedad nueva", Acta botanica Mexicana (1999), 49: 23 - 34.


Herba perennis, "foliis hiemalis" numerosis crassiusculis lanceolatis usque ad oblongo-lanceolatis acutis glabrescentibus imbricatis hibernaculum bulbosum formantibus, "foliis aestivalis" paucioribus laxis membranosis obovato-spathulatis usque ellipticis vel suborbiculatis; pedunculo erecto, puberulo glabriusculo; calyce pubescenti, corolla bilabiata, violaceo-purpurea, lobis obovato-cuneatis vel oblongis, apice rotundato truncato vel retuso, tubo brevissimo infundibuliformi, calcare porrecto curvato, cylindraceo-acuto, ovario globoso, villoso.


translation :


- soon -


Pinguicula moranensis H.B.K. is one of the most widespread species in its genus all over central America but this is also the most taxonomic confusing species. This species was described for the first time in 1817 by three botanists, Humboldt, Bonpland and Kunth (H.B.K.). The occurancy of this species was from the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon to Guatemala in the south. (The occurance of Pinguicula moranensis according to Casper in 1966 below)



We used to believed that the plants collected as Holotype by Humbolt and Bonpland and hosted in the herbarium of Paris, were ocollected from "Minas de Moran" in the Sierra de Pachuca, from Hidalgo state. But recently, the well known Mexican botanist S. Zamudio in 1999 collected plants in the same area , near the old "Minas de Moran" area, not far from the village of Real del Monte and noted that these collected plants were different from the herbarium plants. One of the differences for exemple is forin the winter leaves, far from the winter leaves of Pinguicula moranensis and then doesn't share the original description of Pinguicula moranensis according to Humboldt, Bonpland and Kunth. 


A question then : where does the holotype of Pinguicula moranensis come from ? 


After a long investigation, on the travels of the three botanists in 1803, S. Zamudio concluded that the plants hosted in Paris are probably originated from a location called "El Puente de la Madre de Dios" from Hidalgo state in Mexico, a conclusion confirmed by a visit he did in this place. 


This question is now answered but what about the status of the plants S. Zamudio found in the Minas de Moran area ?


In 1846, Hooker, found the same plant of Zamudio in the same area and identified it wrongly with P. orchidoides. As these plants are not the type P. moranensis and not P. orchidoides, S. Zamudio finally decided to published these plants as a variation of P. moranensis and published them in 1999 under the name Pinguicula moranensis var. neovolcanica.         


This variety is widespread all over the Mexican mountain chains : Eje Volcanico Transversal and Eje Neovolcanico, in the Federal district (DIF) and the states of Guerrero (GRO), Hidalgo (HID), Mexico (MEX), Michoacan (MIC), Morelos (MOR), Puebla (PUE), Tlaxcala (TLA) and Veracruz (VER) all the yellow area below.   




This variety can be found on rocks or on hasty grounds, from volcanic origin, on very inclined slopes of gorges or shaded slopes, with a north or north-east orientation.  

This variety can be found in areas of a vegetation of oaks, pines/oaks and Oyamel forests, although in some occasions, it can be found in wet gorges of deciduous tropical forest , near the transition with oak forest or in scrubs from secondary origin.

Altitudes recorded : from 2000 m (1700) to 2900 m (3300).


District federal (DIF)



Guerrero (GRO)



Hidalgo (HID)



Mexico (MEX)




Michoacan (MIC)



Morelos (MOR)




Puebla (PUE)




Tlaxcala (TLA)



Veracruz (VER) 


Introduction in culture :

This variety can be found in culture worldwide under various named locations. It is a very variable species and varies also from locations to others. 


List of some identified Pinguicula moranensis var neovolcanica in culture : 


Ambiguous name of plants in culture among amateurs.

New name proposal among amateurs :

Pinguicula sp. 'Guerrero' Pinguicula moranensis var. neovolcanica 'Guerrero'
Pinguicula moranensis 'el Chico' Pinguicula moranensis var. neovolcanica 'El Chico'
Pinguicula sp. 'Pachuca' Pinguicula moranensis var. neovolcanica 'Pachuca'
Pinguicula sp. 'Pico de Orizaba' Pinguicula moranensis var. neovolcanica 'Pico de Orizaba' (previously P. sodalium)
Pinguicula sp. 'Puerto del Aire' Pinguicula moranensis var. neovolcanica 'Puerto del Aire'
Pinguicula sp. 'La Vuelta' Pinguicula moranensis var. neovolcanica 'La Vuelta'
Pinguicula sp. 'Zacapoaxtla' Pinguicula moranensis var. neovolcanica 'Zacapoaxtla'
Pinguicula sp. 'Lagunas de Zempoala' Pinguicula moranensis var. neovolcanica 'Lagunas de Zempoala'
and so on...  



(North hemisphere, France near Paris, in a polycarbonate greenhouse - see the map -)

Life cycle : The life cycle observed in culture for this Pinguicula consists of two seasons, one wet and the other dry (see link). The plant forms different leaf rosettes according to the season. During the resting months (winter) the small succulent rosette is composed of numerous smaller non-carnivorous hairy leaves. The carnivorous leaves are produced in spring and during all summer. This life cycle is the same in its natural habitat.  


Media : I use a 100 % mineral media : 2 perlite, 2 vermiculite, 1 small sand (for aquarium), 1 fine white sand, 1 pouzzolane (volcanic lava), 1 aqualit (expansed ceramic for aquarium). The aqualit can be replaced by 1 of pouzzolane. Plants in this media grow slower but have a stronger root system.


Pot : plastic, colour terracotta, diameter 12.5cm, height 12cm.


Cultivation : I think that a slightly airy situation inside the greenhouse is important to avoid air stagnation. For this reason, I use a fan 24h/24h all the year round.

Watering is very important : from May to September (summer). I let the media drying slightly between two watering. I use rain water poured on the top of the pot taking care not to wet the rosette.  From October to April, It is important to let the media drying completely (no watering) but with an atmospheric humidity of about 60%.

The mentioned months are indicative and can change according to your own growing conditions. In fact, when this Pinguicula begins to produce its non-carnivorous leaves, you have to stop watering and let the pot drying out completely. Inversely, when the plant begins to produce in early spring its carnivorous leaves, you have to progressively start watering again the pot.

Temperatures : during growth period, day temperatures are about 25C but can reach 35C when the sun is shining on the greenhouse in spite of the use of shading covers. Night temperatures are around 20C. During resting period : day/night over freezing point. Lower temperature observed : - 4C. I use an electronic petroleum heater to provide heat.


Multiplication : The plants can be propagated easily using non-carnivorous leaves separated from the rosette at the end of winter. You only have to carefully tear out the totality of the leaf particularly with it's white base as the new plantlets will sprout from this area. Don't try with the summer leaves, it is harder.

PICTURES: (click to enlarge)


Pinguicula moranensis var. neovolcanica from Iztlaccihuatl Popocatepetl National Park , Puebla. (All the article here : link )

Ruben posing in front of a cluster of Pinguicula moranensis var. neovolcanica in the national Park.

Photo : Marlene and Ruben

Marlene posing in front of a cluster of Pinguicula moranensis var. neovolcanica in the national Park.

Photo : Marlene and Ruben

Cluster of Pinguicula moranensis var. neovolcanica.


Note the pine trees debris surrounding the plants.

Photo : Marlene and Ruben

Cluster of Pinguicula moranensis var. neovolcanica. This plant reach a diameter of 30 cm !

Photo : Marlene and Ruben

Pinguicula moranensis var. neovolcanica from El Chico, Hidalgo, alt. 2903 meters
 . (See the specific page here : link )

Nice colored Pinguicula moranensis var. neovolcanica

Photo : Ed. Read

Pinguicula moranensis var neovolcanica in "Plan de la Cuesta", near San Rafael, State of Mexico.
After driving a few hours from Mexico City we arrived in San Rafael which lies on the skirt of a volcano. We stopped at the local market for  some hot chocolate and a little browsing. We came across some native women selling fungi. I wonder how many wonderful Pinguicula populations they have come across as they search the hills for their mushrooms. P. moranensis var. neovolcanica is found on the northfacing sides of the tall rocky outcrops.  Ed. Read.

Woman selling mushrooms

Photo : Ed. Read

From the parking lot we could see Pinguicula growing on the rocks. Early on in the hike up the mountain we found plenty of succulents that could fool the untrained eye as Pinguicula. After we learned the light green color of the Pinguicula we had no problems mistaking them. We hiked over an hour up the steep sided mountain ignoring the switchbacks and heading strait up the side following a water pipe. We arrived at the site Ruben and Marlene had previously found to be amazed at the large plants. No flowers were present but mature seed was everywhere. Marlene and I measured the largest plant at 20cm diameter. Fernando found one large leaf that measured at 11cm. Some plants had already developed winter leaves, while others had none yet present.
One of the locals told me the name of the place was Plan de la Cuesta. We continued on for another hour or so up the mountain up to 3200 meters but didn't find any more populations. The air was nice and cool, perfect for the long hike. It was another beautiful day in Mexico.

Ed. Read

A north facing side of a tall rocky outcrops, the habitat of Pinguicula moranensis var. neovolcanica.

Photo : Ed. Read

Enlarge to fing Pinguicula moranensis var. neovolcanica growing among mosses on this rock. If you don't see the plants, you are not yet  ready to go to Mexico for Pinguicula

Photo : Ed. Read


A cluster of Pinguicula moranensis var. neovolcanica, note the red color of the rock behind.

Photo : Ed. Read


An impressive sample of Pinguicula moranensis var. neovolcanica.

Photo : Ed. Read

A mix of organic matter with volcanic rock.

Photo : Ed. Read

Impressive Pinguicula moranensis var. neovolcanica.

Photo : Ed. Read

After the long hike down the mountain we were starving. We stopped along a food stand along the road. We ate quezadillas de zetas (zetas=mushrooms) con queso, tlacoyos de frijol con nopales (nopales=cactus), tlacoyos de requeson con nopales y tacos de cecina. Mmmm mmm good.


Ed. read

Ed. Read (left), Fernando Rivadavia (behind), Ruben (middle) and Marlene (right).


Photo : Ed. Read