Pinguicula - Heterophylly

When a plant produces more than one type of leaf during the growing season, it is called heterophylly.

     Pinguicula vulgaris. The leaves of the summer rosette wither, and the winter bud is established centrally in the rosette. In the middle you can see an overwintered winter bud, and at right winter buds unfolding in spring. Some species produce multiple winter buds that act as bulbils for vegetative propagation.


     The species shown here was purchased under the name Pinguicula gypsophila as a species from Central America, but it has not been possible to confirm that s uch a species exists. In Germany there is a variety of the Common butterwort with the name P. vulgaris var. gypsophila which refers to it growing on calcareous soil. This is also the case for several species in Central America, while the majority of Pinguicula species prefer neutral or acidic soils. The plant shown is an example of summer and winter rosettes, i.e. heterophylly. In late summer, the leaves become shorter and shorter and lose their ability to trap insects, while the mucus- and enzyme-producing leaves wither away.

H. S. Heide-Jørgensen, Nov. 2020. Translated Jan. 2024.

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