Pinguicula gracilis

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Family : Lentibulariaceae

Genus : Pinguicula

Name : Pinguicula gracilis

Sub-classification (Casper) : link

Publication : Acta Botanica Mexicana (1988), 3 : 21 - 28

By Sergio Zamudio,

"Dos nuevas especies de Pinguicula (Lentibulariaceae) del centro y norte de Mexico".

DESCRIPTION : (by Sergio Zamudio)

Herba perennis (?). Folia dimorpha, in duabus seriebus disposita; folia "hiemalia" 10 -35, spathulata usque ad oblanceolata, apice rotundata, margine ciliata, 3 - 12 mm longa, 1.5 - 4 mm lata; folia "aestivalia" 5 -15, spathulata usque ad obovato-spathulata, apice rotundata, margine integra, leviter involuta, 8 - 16 mm longa, 4 - 10 mm lata. Pedicelli 1 - 4, purpurei, glabrescentes, 18 - 57 mm longi. Flores 10 - 19 mm longi (calcare incluso); calyx purpureus, bilabiatus, labium superum usque ad basim tripartitum, lobis ellipticis vel oblongis, (1.3) 2 - 3 mm longis, labium inferum 3/4-5/6 longitudinis bipartitum, lobis ellipticis vel oblongis, 1.3 2 (2.6) mm longis corolla bilabita, alba, sed faucibus et venarum basibus purpureis et labii inferi lobulo medio macula luteo-virescenti ornato, labium superum bilobatum, lobi oblongi apice rotundato vel truncato, (3.5) 4 - 7 mm longi, 2.2 - 5.5 mm lati, labium inferum inaequaliter trilobatum, lobi laterales obovati vel oblongi, apice rotundato vel truncato, 3.1 - 7 mm longi, (1.5) 2 - 4.8 mm lati, lobus medius lateralibus notabiliter longior, obovato-spathulatus, apice emarginatus, pilorum multicellurarium penicillio in macula lutea munitus, 5.5 - 11.5 mm longus, 3 - 11 mm latus, tubus infundibuliformis, (1.5) 2 - 4 mm longus, 3 - 6 mm latus, intra pilis multicellularibus subulatis tectus, palatum nullum, calcar cylindricum, subulatum, atrovirens, intra pilis multicellularibus cylindricis, brevibus, retrorsis, tectum, 3 - 6.5 mm longum, 0.5 - 1 mm latum; stamina +/- 2 mm longa. capsula subglobosa vel botuliformis, umbilicata, 1 - 2.5 mm diametro, glanduloso-pubescens. Semina fusiformia, superficie reticulata    


translation :

 - Soon - 


This species was mistaken in the past for Pinguicula pumila from USA until Dr Sergio Zamudio, the well known Mexican botanist, studied it and gave a true species rank for this wonderful species. You might have been surprised to find a (?) in the original description of Dr Sergio Zamudio concerning the perennial nature of Pinguicula gracilis. This is due to the fact that all the Pinguicula gracilis collected in February 1987 in Mexico by Dr Sergio Zamudio and grown in the botanical garden of Patzcuaro, Michoacan state died in winter 1987. This fact is surprising as all the plants in culture are not annual. 

Localisation / Map: 


Pinguicula gracilis comes from Mexico, state of Nuevo Leon, Municipality of Monterrey, on the northern slope of Cerro de las Mitras (=Sierra de las Mitras), on calcareous abrupt rocks under oaks at an altitude of 1450m.   


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





Pinguicula gracilis can be found on thenorthern slope of Cerro de las Mitras, on calcareous abrupt rocks under oaks at an altitude of 1450m, on mosses under clusters of Cypressus lindleyi at an altitude of 1800m and in cluster of oaks at altitudes of 1000m. All are found in Monterrey, in Cerro de las Mitras .


Click on the graph to enlarge and see the graph of normal precipitation and normal average temperatures. Normal values are 30-year averages for the period 1961 to 1990. The weather stations are grouped by region (see map of weather stations).



Introduction in culture :

No data. My plant comes from "Nepenthes Nursery" of A. Wistuba bought around 1995. 


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

Life cycle : The life cycle observed in culture for this Pinguicula consists of two seasons, one wet and the other dry (see link). The plant forms different leaf rosettes according to the season. During the resting months (winter) the small succulent rosette is composed of numerous non-carnivorous leaves. The carnivorous leaves are produced in spring and during all summer. The flowering occurs from winter rosette. The life cycle of the plant is probably similar in it's native habitat but I have no data.


Media : I use a 100 % mineral media : 2 perlite, 2 vermiculite, 1 small sand (for aquarium), 1 fine white sand, 1 pouzzolane (volcanic lava), 1 aqualit (expansed ceramic for aquarium). The aqualit can be replaced by 1 of pouzzolane. Plants in this media grow slower but have a stronger root system.


Pot : plastic, colour terracotta, diameter 20cm, height 12cm for forming a colony.


Cultivation : I think that a slightly airy situation inside the greenhouse is important to avoid air stagnation. For this reason, I use a fan 24h/24h all the year round.

Watering is very important : from May to September (summer). I let the media drying slightly between two watering. I use rain water poured on the top of the pot taking care not to wet the rosette.  From October to April, It is important to let the media drying completely (no watering) but with an atmospheric humidity of about 80%. 

The mentioned months are indicative and can change according to your own growing conditions. In fact, when this Pinguicula begins to produce its non-carnivorous leaves, you have to stop watering and let the pot drying out completely. Inversely, when the plant begins to produce in early spring its carnivorous leaves, you have to progressively start watering again the pot.

Temperatures : during growth period, day temperatures are about 25C but may reach 35C when the sun is shining on the greenhouse in spite of the use of shading covers. Night temperatures are around 20C. During resting period : day/night over freezing point. Lower temperature observed : - 4C. I use an electronic petroleum heater to provide heat.  

Flowering period : January 2001

Multiplication : I have never succeeded in pollinating the flowers of this Pinguicula (needs two different clones ?) . So I don't know the seeds. The plants can be propagated  easily using non-carnivorous leaves separated from the rosette  at the end of winter. You only have to carefully tear out the totality of the leaf including the white base as the plantlets will sprout from this area. Summer leaves can be used too.


 PICTURES: (click to enlarge)


Cerro de las Mitras

This image in its original context, on the page :



Cerro de las Mitras


This image in its original context, on the page :


Nice cluster of Pinguicula gracilis


Photo : Eric Partrat

- January 2001 -

Pinguicula gracilis flowering from winter rosettes 


Photo :  Eric Partrat

- January 2001 -



Close-up of the flower of Pinguicula gracilis


Photo : Vic Brown

Cupressus lindleyi in Mexico

Musgos (mosses)

This image in its original context, on the page :



Musgos (mosses)

This image in its original context, on the page :