Pinguicula chilensis Clos (1849)

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Family : Lentibulariaceae

Genus : Pinguicula

Name : Pinguicula chilensis

Sub-classification (Casper) : link

Publication : By Clos in Gay Hist.Fis.Pol.Chile Bot.4:365 (1849)


Perennis. Rhizoma simplex breve radicibus adventitiis filiformibus. Folia 3 - 10 radicalia rosulata ovato-oblonga obtusa vel rotundata subemarginata basin versus abrupte angustata margine paulum involuta superne glandulis sessilibus dense et glandulis stipitatis modice dense obsita basi pilis longis subulatis (12) 14 - 22 (24) mm longa +/- 8 - 11 mm lata. Hibernacula nulla. Pedicelli 1 - 2 erecti glandulis stipitatis singularibus obtecti 20 - 50 mm alti uniflori. Flores parvi +/- 9 - 13 mm longi (calcari incluso). Calyx bilabiatus extus glandulis stipitatis disperse vestitus; labium superum usque ad dimidium trilobum lobis triangulo-lanceolatis obtusis vel acutiusculis +/- 1.5 mm longis; labium inferum usque ad dimidium fere bilobum lobis obtusiusculis vel acutiusculis +/- 1.2 mm longis. Corolla bilabiata caerulea vel albida venis violaceis extus glandulis stipitatis singularibus obsita; labium superum bilobum lobis subcuneatis vel obovatis emarginatis paulum longioribus quam latis +/- 3 mm longis +/- 2.5 mm latis; labium inferum trilobum lobis subcuneatis vel obovatis emarginatis +/- 3.7 mm longis +/- 2.7 mm latis (lobo intermedio maiore) basi pilis cylindricis subclavatis obsitis. Tubus subinfundibuliformis obliquus luteus petalis paulum longior intus pilosus pilis longis cylindricis in triabus lineis retro conversis ordinatis cum palato. Palatum bipartito-vesiculiforme pilis brevibus subclavatis obsitum. Calcar rectum conicum obtusum vel acutiusculum +/- 2 - 3  mm longum cum tubo angulum obliquum formans. Stamina +/- 1.75 mm longa; pollen 5 - 6 (?) - colporatum. Ovarium subglobosum glandulis stipitatis singularibus vestitum. Stigma bilabiatum; labio infero subrotundato. Capsula ovoida calyce persistente subduplo longiora. Semina scobiformia numerosa.


Chromosomata ignota. 


translation :

 - Soon - 


In the southern part of South America only two Pinguicula can be found. 

P. antarctica from the southern point of the "Tierra del Fuego" up to the 42 of latitude south. The area of P. chilensis begins where the area of P. antarctica ends at noth. It goes from the National park of Nahuel Huapi at the frontier between Argentina and Chili, to the north of the Laguna del Maule (36 latitude south). 

The drier climate further north give the nothern limit of the territory of P. chilensis. The plant predominantly grows from altitudes from 1000 to 2200 m in peaty environment, together with mosses (e.g. Sphagnum magellanicum). 

Here the plants partly grow in damp meadows of the south andean high regions at the edge of pools and lakes, from the meltwater of the numerous volcanos and glaciers, or at few locations in damp, marshy areas of the Chilean coastal moutain range. 

An important characteristic of the South American Pinguicula is that on contrary to the North American and european and asian Pinguicula the plants do not form a winter bud (Hibernaculum). P. chilensis therefore survives the winter months in the "Summer rosette" form. 

Localisation / Map: 


From south-america, in Chili and in Argentina. 


(click on the map for better location and relief map)

















I have read a nice travel article : "Betty Ford Alpine Gardens and Denver Botanic Gardens Expedition to Chile February 2001 Nicola Ripley (BFAG) and Panayoti Kelaidis (DBG)" that illustrates the habitat of Pinguicula chilensis. I only took a few part of this article below but  you can read it to the following link :


Extract :

" Maule was our next destination, another high pass, this time with a large artificial lake created for irrigation, Laguna del Maule. The scenery here was also quite different; only about 120km (80 miles) due south of the dry and stark valleys leading to Pasa de Vergara, Maule is lush and green, with Chilean Incense Cedar (Austocedrus chilensis) on the steep mountain slopes and the beautiful shrub Collettia in the understory. The volcanic nature of the geology was apparent with impressive columnar jointing and outcrops of black obsidian on the hillsides. The lake from a distance appeared to be a barren dry area but looking closer we found an unbelievable spectacle of Viola cotyledon growing like a ground cover on the hot scree alongside Oxalis adenophylla in full bloom. Proceeding around the lake we stopped at numerous wet seeps, carpeted with Calceolaria biflora, Pinguicula chilensis, Calandrinia affinis and C. colchaguensis. On screes above we photographed more rosulate violas, with beautiful specimens of Viola glacialis and V. cotyledon. In fading light we continued on to the top of the pass where we were greeted by the incredible sight of Peak Campanario, in English, the Belltower. A fine end to the day."


In Casper's monograph :

 - soon - 


According to Oliver, snow and frost can occur only from July to August. The minimum temperatures, the plants are able to survive, are not well-known and need further investigation in culture for exemple. 

Introduction in culture :

There is a rumours as some plants may be grown in Europe but I didn't get a confirmation. Except this possibility, the plants are not yet grown among worldwide amateurs.



No data yet. If I get a plant one day, I will try to grow it in the same way I do for P. alpina or P. antarctica.

 PICTURES: (click to enlarge)


Pinguicula chilensis in habitat.


(Image Premaphotos Wildlife)


Laguna del Maule

Summit Elevation: 3092 m 10,144 feet
Latitude: 36.02S 361'0"S
Longitude: 70.58W 7035'0"W

Laguna del Maule is in central Chili and is a cluster of small stratovolcanoes, lava domes, and pyroclastic cones that covers an area of 15 x 20 km. 


This image in its original context, on the page :



Typical lake border in Chili. It is a possible habitat of Pinguicula chilensis.


This image in its original context, on the page :



Typical lake border in Chili with Alpaga. Do you see Pinguicula chilensis ?


This image in its original context, on the page :




Calceolaria biflora


Photo : Stig Lundmo

This image in its original context, on the page :


Calceolaria biflora

This image in its original context, on the page :


Calandrinia colchaguensis

This image in its original context, on the page :

Missouri Botanical Garden

Viola sp.

Chili, 3500 m

This image in its original context, on the page :


Pinguicula chilensis in the "Parque Nacional Nahuelbuta", Chili by Oliver Gluch, October 3, 2004

The National park Nahuelbuta is situated in the IX region of Chile, 40 km west of the city Angol and about 140 km north the province capital Temuco.


This is the last natural location of Araucaria trees forest of the costal moutain range of Chile.


The highest peak of the area is the Cerro Nahuelbuta with 1533 m. 


Along with Araucaria, the other tree species well represented are in the national park : Nothofagus pumilio, Nothofagus dombeyi and Quercus spec.

National park Nahuelbuta in Chili.

Photo : Oliver Gluch

Nothofagus pumilio

Photo : Oliver Gluch

Saprophite species on Nothofagus pumilio

Photo : Oliver Gluch

Araucaria araucana.

Photo : Oliver Gluch

Trail to El Aguilucho

Location of P. chilensis in the national park Nahuelbuta (see map), 1264 m. S 3749'08 ", W 7300'73 ".


Photo : Oliver Gluch

P. chilensis growing along a source dripping from the slope, on a  rich organic matter soil and on mosses.

Even if it was the beginning of the growing season, young seedlings were also present along with mature plants.


Photo : Oliver Gluch

P. chilensis and young seedlings.

Photo : Oliver Gluch

Two mature P.chilensis (each plant have a diameter of around 4 cm)


Photo : Oliver Gluch