LONG LEAVED BUTTERWORT PIinguicula longifolia
Pinguicula longifolia, known as the long-leaved butterwort, is a perennial carnivorous sub-alpine plant of the Central Pyrenees, found on both sides of the border. It catches its prey by using its modified leaves that lie on the ground and have densely covered stalked glands that bear a droplet of sticky mucilage on its top. The need to capture arthropods is driven by the lack of nutrients present in the soil. Pinguicula longifolia obtain their nutrition primarily from flying insects which replenished the carnivorous plant with nitrogen. Pinguicula longifolia grows in wet shady areas and on vertical or overhanging limestone walls. In the spring, the winter buds open and the first carnivorous leaves present themselves. These leaves are then followed by the flowers in early summer. Throughout summer the leaves can grow up to 14 cm in length and have glands present on both sides of the leaves, which is highly characteristic of Pinguicula longifolia . More carnivorous leaves arise throughout summer, and when the conditions become unfavorable, around autumn, a protective winter casing composed of scale like leaves is produced, in the center of the rosette, called the hibernacula, also known as the plant bud. The leaves halt production and the plant is now ready for the winter dormancy.
The endemicity of this subspecies in the Pyrenees is a problem as habitat destruction could lead to reduced space to propagate on. Pinguicula longifolia are also threatened by carnivorous plant enthusiasts who collect rare specimens.
The Pinguicula genus has been known to have many human uses, as they produce a strong bactericide, which prevents captured insects from rotting while digestion occurs. This beneficial property has been known by Europeans for centuries, as application of the bactericide to wounds of cattle encourages healing.
Height: 14 cm
Hardiness zones: 6-10
Type: Hardy perennial
Note: These seeds are extremely tiny! It's just how they naturally are. Reading glasses are recommended to aid with seeing them, even for those who don't normally require glasses to read. The seeds are shipped in either a wax envelope, or folder within a small paper. Open carefully, and sprinkle onto the growing medium. Do not bury the seeds. Germination information is below.
Seeds per pack: 5
Germination: Use a mix of 50% peat moss, and 50% sand or perlite. As with many perennial seeds, these seeds benefit from a period of moist cold to help them begin to grow. This is done by giving them a cold 'winter' period (artificial or natural), and then a warming to simulate 'spring', and time to grow! Here's how this can be done:
Place on the surface of your growing medium, and water, do not bury them. Then place them in a refrigerator for 5-6 weeks. Once the cold period is completed, place the container back at room temperature for them to germinate. Be sure to keep the soil moist during this entire germination period. Seedlings will sprout several weeks, or occasionally several months, after the warming period. They require some patience, but are well worth the effort!