Pinguicula ramosa Miyoshi ex Yatabe

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Family : Lentibulariaceae

Genus : Pinguicula

Name : Pinguicula ramosa

Sub-classification (Casper) : link

PublicationMiyoshi ex Yatabe in Bot.Mag.Tokyo 4:1 (1890)


Perennis. Rhizoma simplex breve radicibus adventitiis numerosis filiformibus. Folia 5 - 6 radicalia rosulata petiolata circuitu orbiculato-spathulata vel elliptica apice rotundata margine involuta, superne glanduloso-viscosa laete viridia (8) 10 -12 (15) mm longa 5 - 8 mm lata (petiolo excluso). Hibernacula. Pedicellus erectus dense glandulosus laete viridis saepe concaulescenter 2 - 3 ramosus (15) 30 - 60 (90) mm altus ramis unifloris. Flores parvi (7) 9 - 10 (11) mm longi (calcari incluso). Calyx bilabiatus dense glandulosus; labium superum profunde tripartitum lobis ovato-lanceolatis; labium inferum bipartitum lobis ovato-lanceolatis usque ad dimidium connatis plus minusve divergentibus. Corolla bilabiata alba; labium superum bilobum lobis ovato-rotundatis; labium inferum lobis inaequalibus intermedio lateralibus lgulato-rotundatis multo maiore apice profunde emarginato vel bilobo basi angustato cum palato vesiculoso. Tubus brevis albidus infundibuliformis dilatatus pilosus pilis subulatis retro conversis. Calcar breve conicum rectum luteum (1.5) 3 - 4 mm longum tertiam partem longitudinis tubi limbique corollae subaequans. Capsula obovoideo-retusa vel elliptica 2 - 4 mm longa 2 - 3 mm lata calycem multum superans. Semina scobiformia.


Chromosomata ignota.


Floret VI - VII


Holotypus : Hondo, Mt. Koshin, Japan.


Translation :


- soon - 


Jurg Steiger in "Pinguicula (Lentibulariaceae) : The cool climate species of the northern hemisphere - Morphology, Biology, Cultivation" a text from the second conference of the International Carnivorous Plants Society, Bonn (Germany), May 30 - June 1st, 1998 wrote : 

" morphologically I cannot distinguish the flowers of P. ramosa and P. variegata. Also the stalks, winter buds and seeds capsules are almost identical. The only difference are the stalk bifurcation, the lack of the little 'scaly leaf', the different habitat and the chromosome number of 2n = 18 which is unique in this genus. Yoshimura (1973) identified the karyogram of P. ramosa to show some unusually large chromosomes probably resulting from from the fusion of smaller chromosomes, a phenomenon which is not rarely observed in plants of islands : low necessity of compeditive variability, i.e. low necessity of chromosomal exchange, crossing-overs etc. or in banking language : no reason to avoid 'lump risks'." 

(more on this theory)

" I guess that at earlier, cooler times the distribution range of P. variegata also covered Japan. When the climate was getting milder the plants in Asia as well as in Japan retired to highe'r altitudes but in Japan they could not go beyond the summits. Due to an adaptative selection process and genetical isolation P. variegata might have modified to P. ramosa. This would be a classical example where extinction was not avoided by migration but by adaptation."


A very interested article on Pinguicula ramosa by Michiaki Mabuchi (Japan) can be read here : article 

Localisation / Map: 

Pinguicula ramosa is a species endemic to Japan and can be found in very limited areas : Mt. Koshin and the neighboring mountains, most of which are in the Nikko mountain region; Tochigi Prefecture.


Nikko, Japan

Maps by

Latitude 36.75 Longitude 139.6166667 Altitude (feet) 1876
Lat (DMS) 36 45' 0N Long (DMS) 139 37' 0E Altitude (meters) 571


These include Mts. Kesamaru-san, Nantai-zan, Nyoho-zan, Sukai-zan, Nokogiri-yama, Tsuki-yama.  Nokogiri-yama is a column between Mt. Koshin-zan and Mt. Sukai-san. Only Mt. Kesamaru is located outside of the Nikko National Park. Mt. Kesamaru's habitat is important in that it is only one habitat in Gunma Pref. P. ramosa may also be located on Mt. Ozaku-san, which is also out of the Nikko Mountain region. 


Source : Michiaki Mabuchi


Pinguicula ramosa grows in mosses on vertical volcanic rock protected from direct rainfall at altitude of 1500 to 1700 m. 


" Most plants are found on the north side of the walls, under half-shaded or sometimes very shaded conditions. Saxifraga fortunei and Primula modesta frequently accompany P. ramosa." (Source : Michiaki Mabuchi)


According to Jurg Steiger, the soil of Pinguicula ramosa is only slightly damp with periodic fog supplying the majority of water to the plants. 


The rock walls of Mt. Koshin-zan are so weathered, they are falling apart. Reasons for this include increased use by mountain climbers and death of the trees on the wall due to acid rain and grazing by deer. The habitat of P. ramosa in Mt. Koshin-zan is now facing a crisis. (Source : Michiaki Mabuchi)


Pinguicula ramosa is endangered and therefore a stickly protected species.

Introduction in culture :

This species can be found in a very limited number of sources : the carnivorous plants society of A.Wistuba and in some carnivorous plants growers collections (2 or 3). This rare plant reach high prices that can explain first why so little persons try to grow it and why it is so rare in collections even in skilled growers of temperate Pinguicula.


(North hemisphere, France near Paris, in a garden  - see the map -)    


With the exception of Jurg Steiger that succeeded in growing this species with an ingenious but expensive cooling system, this species seems to be "impossible" to be grow by amateurs. 


This species is an alpine plant and need cool temperature all during his growing cycle that are not possible to offer in our lo altitudes. 

Jurg Steiger gave in CPN (carnivorous plants newsletter Vol. IV, N1), temperatures of 6 to 14C (43 - 57 F) for nights and 10 to 20C (50 - 58 F) for days during the vegetation period. 


In his very interested article on Pinguicula ramosa by Michiaki Mabuchi (Japan), that can be read here : article, his friend Masato Hattori add the following cultivation notes : 

" P. ramosa is an alpine plant and is absolutely intolerant to conditions at lower elevations. It needs special conditions for cultivation. Keep cool, 20 degrees in the daytime, 10 degrees at night. Keep the substrate slightly wet and periodically mist. Under wet and warm conditions, P. ramosa is prone to rot. P. ramosa likes cool moving humid air. P. ramosa seems to prefer half-shaded light. Strong light will increase the temperature, which can lead to death of the plant. Another important hint may be to plant P. ramosa vertically. The main difficulty in cultivation is that P. ramosa is very susceptible to heat. For example, the winter bud sometimes decays due to warm weather. As well, sometimes plants will put all their energy into spring growth and die as they do not have reserved to form resting buds. In conclusion, we have to say that cultivation is far from easy. Although a few people in Japan successfully grow P. ramosa from seed in vitro, most of the plants do not survive for long once out of the flask. "


Jurg Steiger gave also in the same CPN (carnivorous plants newsletter Vol. IV, N1), the following media that he is using successfully : 

1/2 volcanic detritus - 1/4 black peat - 1/4 perlite.


I wish to add my own experience one day as my first attempt was a failure, the plant flowered and rooted few weeks after due to overwatering but it was during the 2003 heat wave. I used the following media : 1/2 pouzzolane - 1/4 shagnum peat - 1/4 perlite.

PICTURES: (click to enlarge)


The habitat of Pinguicula ramosa in Mount Koshin, Japan.

Photo : J. Marabini

Pinguicula ramosa in Mount Koshin, Japan.

Photo : J. Marabini

Pinguicula ramosa in Mount Koshin, Japan. Note the famous and unique in this genus, stalk bifurcation.

Photo : J. Marabini


Pinguicula ramosa in culture in Jurg Steiger collection. The plants are cooled during all the growing season to prevent too hot temperatures.

Photo : E. Partrat

The flower of P. ramosa. A close similarity. A close similarity with the flower of P. variegata.

Photo : Juerg Steiger

- April 1973 -


The flower of P. variegata. A close similarity with the flower of P. ramosa.


Photo : Eric Partrat

- June 2003 -