Pinguicula zecheri Speta and Fuchs

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Family : Lentibulariaceae

Genus : Pinguicula

Name : Pinguicula zecheri.


Sub-classification (Casper) : link

Publication : By Speta and Fuch in Stapfia 10:111 (1982)


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Is P. zecheri a true species or not...? (By Fernando Rivadavia)


Between ~2250-2400m we saw great populations of flowering P.zecheri -- or maybe I should call them P.moranensis "large flower". This plant does NOT deserve species status.


Ruben & I agreed that, considering the wide morphological variation observed in P.moranensis, having a larger flower is not sufficient to separate a species.


Or else we'd have 20 different species emerging from this complex, all with very poorly defined borders.


Dr. Zamudio himself mentions in his PhD thesis that there are no clear borders between P.moranensis & P.zecheri. So from now on, I'll just refer to this plant as P.moranensis "large flower"...

Anyways, P.moranensis/ P.zecheri presented many interesting flower variations. Colors varied from dark purple to pink. We even saw one with a light-pink, almost white flower. White and purple marks around the throat varied a lot too.


The petal lobes varied in size and also in shape (narrower or rounder). You will see below that might be the first pics of P.moranensis/zecheri in the wild...

Weather :

The weather of this region  is considerably influenced by the diversity of its topography. The general climate changes with increasing elevation : hot and dry in the lowland interior, warm to temperate at medium altitudes and rather humid to cool on the highest peaks. Generally there is a dry season during winter and spring, with precipitation mostly in summer and autumn. Higher in the mountains, precipitation may be over 1600 mm and temperatures become cooler, but the region includes many different restricted habitats.


As the farmers are using the forest to shade their coffee plantations they selectively cut mainly Pinus, Quercus and Ficus species. With the increasing population, the road from Puerto del Gallo will be probably improved into a principal highway across the region and the railroad will be extended across to the coast. However, the greatest threat to the region is deforestation due to commercial logging of coniferous and hardwood trees for lumber and paper industries, without reforestation. Many endemic species of flora and fauna are threatened by deforestation.


Mexico, from Puerto del Gallo, in the state of Guerrero.


(click on the map for better location and relief map)



Topography is generally mountainous, with 40% above 2000 m. The minimum elevation in the north-east is 600 m, in the north-west 2000 m. There are important peaks ("cerros") including Yextla (2950 m) centrally, and in the south-west Teotepec (3550 m) near Puerto del Gallo, Jilguero (2850-2900 m) and Tlacotepec (3330 m). Minimum elevations in the south-west and south-east are 800 m and 1600 m.


The altitude of Puerto del Gallo area is between 2000 and 3000m according to the map. At these altitudes, you can find different vegetation :


Pine-oak forest (2000-2400 m or more) comprising mainly Quercus uxoris, Q. laurina, Q. acutifolia, Q. glaucescens and Q. crassipes with Pinus devoniana (P. michoacana), P. teocote and P. leiophylla,.


Pine forest (above 2400 m) in less humid locales, with Pinus herrerae, P. leiophylla, P. ayacahuite and P. pseudostrobus var. oaxacana. The pine forest in some lower and warmer areas (not along this transect) is an association of just P. ocarpa and P. pringlei.


In more humid areas, an exuberant mesophyllous mountain forest with several strata and abundant climbers and epiphytes. Characteristic trees, 30 m tall or more include Chiranthodendron pentadactylon, Chaetoptelea mexicana, Abies guatemalensis and Pinus ayacahuite. Shorter trees are Ostrya virginiana, Clethra mexicana, Styrax ramirezii, S. argenteus, Tilia occidentalis, Saurauia serrata, Viburnum ciliatum and Meliosma dentata


Fir forest (2500-3000 m), with individuals of Abies religiosa and A. hickelii up to 30 m tall. On the highest cerro Teotepec there is also a low forest of stout Pinus hartwegii; in rocky places grow Juniperus monticola var. monticola and rosette and cushion species of the páramo.


Descending the Pacific slope (below c. 2450 m) is a mesophyllous montane forest with a shrubby stratum rich in Melastomataceae, and many epiphytes - orchids, Peperomia and ferns. Characteristic trees include Podocarpus matudae, Pinus chiapensis, P. maximinoi, Chaetoptelea mexicana, Saurauia angustifolia, Hedyosmum mexicanum, Oreopanax obtusifolius, Dendropanax arboreus, Persea schiedeana, Drimys granadensis, Sloanea medusula and Magnolia schiedeana.


The informations in this page comes from : 


Click on the logo to visit their website with a lot of subjects.


Click on the graph to enlarge and see the graph of normal precipitation and normal average temperatures. Normal values are 30-year averages for the period 1961 to 1990. The weather stations are grouped by region (see map of weather stations).



Introduction in culture :

In the eighties. P. zecheri can be found everywhere in various carnivorous plants nurseries.



(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 non-carnivorous leaves. The carnivorous leaves are produced in spring and during all summer. The life cycle of the plant is probably similar in it's native 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 80%. 

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

Flowering period : Not yet observed


Multiplication : By seeds ? but I had no flowers yet. 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)

Fernando Rivadavia picturing this typical wet forest view.

Photo : Ruben Resendiz Torreblanca

July 2006

Fernando Rivadavia posing close to Pinguicula zecheri.

Photo : Ruben Resendiz Torreblanca

July 2006

Pinguicula zecheri growing among mosses near Puerto del Gallo.

Photo : Ruben Resendiz Torreblanca

July 2006

Impressive colony of Pinguicula zecheri. A close similarity with Pinguicula moranensis.

Photo : Ruben Resendiz Torreblanca

July 2006

A beautifull Orchid sharing its habitat with Pinguicula zecheri.

Photo : Ruben Resendiz Torreblanca

July 2006

More soon



Here is a relief map of the Sierra Madre del Sur (if you still have any doubt for  the mountainous status of Mexico). In Guerrero, there are important peaks ("cerros") including Yextla (2950 m) centrally, and in the south-west Teotepec (3550 m) near Puerto del Gallo, Jilguero (2850-2900 m) and Tlacotepec (3330 m). The minimum elevations in the south-west and south-east are 800 m and 1600 m.

Landscape in the Sierra Madre del Sur.



This image in its original context, on the page :


Landscape in the Sierra Madre del Sur.


This image in its original context, on the page :


Landscape in the Sierra Madre del Sur.


This image in its original context, on the page :