|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Pinguicula (diminutive of Latin pinguis, fat; referring to the succulent and greasy foliage). Lenti- bulariaceae. Butterwort. Small acaulescent herbs of carnivorous habits, with pretty long-spurred flowers something like a snapdragon; sometimes grown for then- oddity and for the study of insectivorous habits.
Plants of moist or wet grounds, sometimes growing on damp rocks, with fibrous roots: lvs. in a basal tuft or rosette, broad and entire, soft, the upper surface usually glandular-viscid (secreting a digestive fluid) and the margins infolding when insects and other objects adhere: fls. white to purple and yellow, solitary on naked scapes which are coiled in vernation; calyx 6-lobed and somewhat 2-lipped; corolla mostly 2- lipped, ringent or more or less personate, with 5 spreading unequal lobes, the base extended into a sac or spur; stamens 2: fr. a 2-valved caps.—Species 30-40, in the northern hemisphere and also along the Andes to Patagonia. The species are little seen in cult., P. caudata and P. lutea being best known to growers. Pin- guicula is one of the very few dicotyledonous plants with only 1 seed-leaf. The fls. of pinguicula are often reversed in position before and during anthesis.
This interesting genus is rarely seen under cultivation, except in botanic gardens. The most noteworthy species of the genus is the Mexican butterwort, P. caudata, both for its floral and characters. A peculiar feature of the plant is that it produces two kinds of growth,—the resting type, in which the small succulent leaves are imbricated and form a small dense rosette bout 1 inch in diameter; also the growing type, in which the obovate leaves when fully grown measure 3 to 4 inches long by 2 to 3 inches wide.—In February the small rosettes of P. caudata should be potted in the pans large enough to carry them throughout the growing period, because they are not conveniently transplanted. Three plants may be placed in 6-inch pans, keeping them close to the side of the pan in triangular form. A good growing medium consists of two parts peat soil, one part fibrous loam and one part sand, with plenty of drainage. When in full growth, the top of the pan will be fully covered by the viscid leaves. Watering the plants from above should not be practised because of destroying the dew-like deposit on the surface of the leaves. The pans should be placed in saucers of water, and set in a light position in the warm- house; give plenty of sunshine and the plants will readily flower throughout the summer. In October place the plants in the cool end of the house to rest. The growth will gradually deteriorate until it assumes the rosettes of small succulent leaves to carry them through the resting period.—Young plants are propagated almost as readily as echeverias. The small rigid leaves should be carefully broken from the main stem; if not broken clean they will not reproduce young plants. These should be laid flat on sand in pans of convenient size; the top of the pan should be protected by glass or a bell-jar, to retain the moisture; place the pan in a saucer of water. In four to six weeks the young plants with the leaf attached will be sufficiently rooted to allow potting. One of the worst pests are wood- lice. (G. H. Pring.)
P. elatior, Michx., in N. C. to Fla., is a beautiful species that should be in cult.: plant 3-5 in. across and 10-12 in. tall: lvs. viscid-glandula, in pale green rosettes: fls. whitish purple, to 3/4 in broad WILHELM MILLER.
L. H. B.
Pink: Dianthus. CH
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Pests and diseases
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- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963