Alpine Butterwort
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Alpine Butterwort
P Native Photo: Siddarth Machado
Common name: Alpine Butterwort
Botanical name: Pinguicula alpina    Family: Lentibulariaceae (Bladderwort family)

Alpine Butterwort is a small perennial herb, reaching a height of 5-15 cm when in flower. Leaves lie in a flat rosette on the ground. They are five to eight fleshy, light-green to reddish, elliptic to lanceshaped, forming up to 6 cm in diameter. The upper surface of the leaves are sticky from the mucilage secreted by stalked glands covering the leaf surface. Small insects alighting upon this surface are caught by the mucilage, upon which stalkless glands embedded in the leaf surface secrete digestive enzymes to digest the prey. Flowers are 2-lipped, usually whitish with yellow spots, sometimes pale mauve. Flowers have a short conical down-curved spur, and are borne singly on short slender stems. Flowers are 8-10 mm, the upper lip two-lobed, the lower one 3-lobed. Calyx is 2-lipped, sepals blunt. Alpine Butterwort is found in the Himalayas, from Kashmir to SW China, at altitudes of 3000-4400 m. Flowering: May-June.

Identification credit: Siddarth Machado Photographed in North Sikkim.

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