Pinguicula villosa Linnaeus

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Family : Lentibulariaceae

Genus : Pinguicula

Name : Pinguicula villosa

Sub-classification (Casper) : link

Publication : By Carl von Linne in Spec. Pl. ed. 1 :17 (1753)



Perennis; pusilla. Rhizoma simplex +/- 10 mm longum radicibus adventitiis numerosis filiformibus. Folia 1 - 5 radicalia rosulata integerrima erecte petiolo piloso lamina circuitu elliptico-orbiculata margine valde canaliculate involuta (marginibus saepe inter se tangentibus) suprne glandulis sessilibus stipitatisque dense basin versus pilis longis subulatis vestita (7) 8 - 10 (13) mm longa (3) 4 - 6 (7) mm lata laete virescentia. Pedicellus 1 (4) erectus manifeste villosus pilis longis subulatis apicem versus glangulis stipitatis obsitus (15) 30 - 60 (95) mm altus uniflorus persistens. Flores parvi (5) 6 - 9 (11) mm longi (calcari incluso). Calyx subbiliatus extus glandulis stipitatis dense obsitus purpureus; labium superum profunde trilobum lobis lanceolatis vel longe triangulis acutis; labium inferum profunde bilobum lobis lanceolatis +/- divergentibus. Corolla bilabiata pallide-violacea in fauce luteo striata; labium superum bilobum lobis ligulatis; labium inferum trilobum lobis subcuneatis retusis rotundatis inter se tegentibus lobo intermedio parum maiore obscure violaceo striatis. Tubus infundibuliformis intus pilosus pilis cylindricis obscure violaceo-striatus. Calcar cylindrico-conicum porrectum obtusum (1) 2 - 3 (5) mm longum tubo limboque corollae duplo brevius. Stamina +/- 1.5 mm longa; pollen (4) 5 - (6) - colporatum. Ovarium globoso-obovatum glandulis stipitatis +/- dense obsitum. Stigma subbilabiata labiis subaequalibus. Capsula obovoida retusa +/- 2 mm longa calycem subduplo superans. Semina scobiformia reticulata.      


Chromosomata 2n = 16.


Floret IV - V


Translation :


- soon - 


Jurg Steiger in "Pinguicula (Lentibulariaceae) : The cool climate species of the northern hemisphere - Morphology, Biology, Cultivation" a text from the second conference of the International Carnivorous Plants Society, Bonn (Germany), May 30 - June 1st, 1998 wrote : " In fact P. villosa does not really fit well into the pattern of the subgenus Pinguicula. It is by far the smallest of all discussed species : The tiny flower has a length of only 6 - 9 mm. It has a disjunct circumpolar distribution in the boreal regions of Eurasia and North America, but it is not recorded from Iceland or Greenland . In east Asia it seems to reach as far south as North Korea." ... " P.villosa has a very limited ecological tolerance and grows exclusively in a very specific environment in hard but relatively constant and predictable climate conditions which is compatible with its low diploid chromosome number of 2n = 16 (more on this theory). It is likely to have survived the last ice ages in the area of the Gulf of St Lawrence which was more or less ice-free at that time".


A white form of this species named Pinguicula villosa f. albiflora was published in 1915 by Frödin in 1915 and Casper published also in 1962 in Repert. spec. nov. 66, page 44, a lus. ramosa with a  bifurcated stalk like in P. ramosa with two flowers but without bractus.

Localisation / Map: 

This species can be found in (sub)artic area of north America and Eurasia (but not occuring in Greenland, Iceland and Spitzbergen).


Pinguicula villosa can be found in sphagnum bogs, hummocks (a very small raised part of the ground) and muskegs (a low-lying area of soft waterlogged ground and standing water) around pools and creeks, mainly in the timberline zone. 

Introduction in culture :

This species can be found in very specialized carnivorous plants nurseries mainly in Germany : A. Wistuba 's carnivorous plants nursery for exemple or Plantara (others links are welcome).

Sometimes seeds become available but unfortunately for a very limited amateurs circle. 

Its culture remain very difficult.


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


Life cycle : In spring, the cycle begins by the opening of the winter bud and the production of the first carnivorous leaves. The first leaves are followed in summer by a unique flower per rosette according to Dr. Jurg Steiger. In late summer, its two to four leaves are often not visible at all as they become completly overgrown by the surrounding Sphagnum. The next hibernaculum is usually formed 1-3 cm above the last one. 


Media : Even if slow growing Sphagnum moss should be the best media (maybe the dried chilean or NZ Sphagnum mosses could be used ?), I would try pure peat.  

Pot : plastic or boxes

Cultivation : The long term cultivation of temperate Pinguicula is difficult : If the summer growing conditions are not optimal, the plants will form very weak hibernacula which easily rot. 

Optimal summer growing conditions are : good air humidity, cool temperature and UV lights.


Multiplication : By seeds only as gemmae are not produced around the winter hibernacula as on most other temperate Pinguicula.

 PICTURES: (click to enlarge)



P. villosa flowering in habitat.


Photo : Dr. Heiko Rischer

-  summer 2003 in Finland -


Close-up on the flower from the previous left picture. Npte the hairy scape.


Photo : Dr. Heiko Rischer

-  summer 2003 in Finland -


P. villosa in habitat. Note the red Sphagnum (Sphagnum fuscum) and the involution of the leaves 's margin preventing the overlaying Sphagnum to irritate the digestive glands. A young Drosera rotundifolia can be seen on the top of the picture.


Photo : Dr. Heiko Rischer

-  summer 2003 in Finland -


P. villosa in habitat growing in Sphagnum with another well known carnivorous plant : Drosera rotundifolia starting to erect its flower scape.


Photo : Dr. Heiko Rischer

-  summer 2003 in Finland -

P. villosa in habitat starting to erect its hairy flower scape.


Photo : Dr. Heiko Rischer

-  summer 2003 in Finland -