Pinguicula gypsicola Brandegee

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Family : Lentibulariaceae

Genus : Pinguicula

Name : Pinguicula gypsicola

Sub-classification (Casper) : link

Publication : Brandegee in Univ. Calif. Publ. Bot. 4 (1911) 190


          By Brandegee in Univ. Calif. Publ. Bot. 4 (1911) 190

Perennis. Rhizoma simplex breve radicibus adventitiis numerosis filiformibus. Folia numerosa radicalia rosulata biformia; inferiora (rosula densissima "hiemis" ut dicitur) innumerabilia sessilia oblongo-cuneata vel spathula obtusa (4) 7 - 10 (12) mm longa 2 - 3.5mm lata facie plana dorso obtuse carinata margine pilis subulatis ciliata ceterum praeter apicem glanduloso-pilosum; superiora (rosula "aestatis" ut dicitur) 10 - 30 subpetiola erecta lanceolata-linearia medio pilis subulatis ciliata (30) 40 - 70 (130 mm) longa medio 4 - 8mm lata superne glandulis sessilibus et stipitatis dense vestita marginibus parum revolutis pallide viridia; in statu iuvenili apice spiraliter involuto. Hibernacula nulla. Pedicelli (1) 3 -7 (11) erecti filiformes glandulis stipitati obtecti folia multumsuperantes (60) 75 - 125 (170) mm alti uniflori. Flores maximi (30) 34 - 42 (50) mm longi (calcari incluso). Calyx bilabiatus laete viridis extus glandulis stipitatis dense obsitus; labium superum profunde tripartitum lobis late triangulo-ovatis; labium inferum usque ad 13 longitudinis bilobum lobis oblongis. Corolla ringes profunde bilabiata violaceo-purpurea; labium superum bilobum lobis lineari-oblongis subrotundatis; labium inferum trilobum lobis lineari-oblongis subrotundatis vel truncatis longioribus quam latis 6 -10mm longis 3 - 5mm latis inter se non tegentibus. Tubus brevissimus infundibuliformis 3 - 4mm longus sine palato intus albid-opilosus pilis clavatis irregulariter ordinatis. Calcar gracile cylindricum horizontaliter patens vel subdescendens purpurascens intus pilosum pilis subulatis (18) 20 -26 (31) mm longum tubum limbumque corollae superans. Pollen (5) 6 - (7) - colporatum. Ovarium subglobosum glandulis stipitatis nonnullis obsitum. Stigma bilabiatum violaceum labio infero maximo suborbiculato. Capsula ignota. Semina ignota.

Chromosomata 2n=22 

translation :

 - Soon - 


According to the original publication, the plant only occurred near "Minas de San Rafael". It has been discovered by C.A. Purpus in 1910 and described by Brandegee in 1911.

The coordinates of the type specimen are San Luis Potosi : [22.30N 100.30W].

In 1994, someone (UK) returned from Mexico with seeds he found in a location called "Santa Gertrudis". 

Localisation / Map: 

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

- Minas de San Rafal are at 11 Km south-est of Charcas San Luis Potosi and at 100 Km north of the town of San Luis Potosi.


- The site of Santa Gertrudis might be another mine situated at 147 Km NW of the town of San Luis Potos and at 43.5 Km NW of the town of Charcas San Luis Potosi.


The two locations are at the opposite and distant of 56.5 km. I hope that Stanley Lampard will help me to clarify this situation !

HABITAT:  (according to Purpus in Casper)

Collected on wet gypsum rocks. It is a typical lythophyte and it grows in shaded situation. The plant grows in the company of Cactaceae, Agave stricta, Selaginella cuspidata, Agave striata, Dasylirion longissimum, Dodonea viscosa, Hechtia glomerata and other Xerophytes. The biotope is usually completely dry. In winter, the temperatures can go down under OC with almost no rain. The summers are very hot and the rains very scarce. During the night, there may be an intense dew.

Introduction in culture :

For Pinguicula gypsicola "Santa Gertrudis", around 1995 (?).  For the old worldwide grown population of Pinguicula gypsicola , the date of introduction in culture is unknown. 


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

Life cycle : The life cycle of Pinguicula gypsicola in Mexico has two seasons, one wet and the other dry (see link). The leaf rosettes of the plant are different  according to the season. During the resting months (winter) the plant develops a small succulent rosette made of numerous non-carnivorous leaves. The carnivorous leaves are produced in spring and during all summer. 


Pinguicula gypsicola during a year. 

( San Luis Potosi clone )

All pictures by Markus Welge



Spur (note its lenght).

Summer rosette.

Winter rosette among summer rosette.


Winter rosette.

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. I place some pieces of gypsum around the plants. In such a media, plants grow slightly slower but have a stronger root system.

Using pure gypsum is also a good media.

Pot : plastic, colour terracotta, diameter 12.5cm, height 12cm.

Cultivation : I think that it is important to have an airy situation in the greenhouse. To avoid  air stagnation, I use a fan 24h/24h all the year round.

Watering is also very important : from May to September (summer), I let the media drying slightly between two watering. I am watering from above the pot using rain water. Always avoid wetting the rosette.  From October to April, It is important to keep the pot totally dry ( bone dry). No watering but an atmospheric humidity around 80%.

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

Temperatures : during growth, day temperature is about 25C  but can reach 35C when the sun is shining on the greenhouse despite the use of shading covers. Night temperature is around 20C.

During resting : day/night temperatures over freezing point. The lower temperature observed was - 4C. I use an electronic petroleum heater.

Flowering period : September 02.


Multiplication : I have never been successful in pollinating the flowers of the 'typical' Pinguicula gypsicola  and  I don't know yet if the pollinization would be successful with Pinguicula gypsicola f. Santa Gertrudis. So I don't know how the seeds look like. 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 new plantlets will sprout from this area.

 PICTURES: (click to enlarge)


Pinguicula gypsicola


Herbarium type specimen

 Missouri Botanical Garden

This image in its original context, on the page :


Pinguicula gypsicola from Santa Gertrudis



Photo : Eric Partrat

september - 2002



Pinguicula gypsicola from Minas de San Rafael



Photo : Eric Partrat

september - 2002



Pinguicula gypsicola from Minas de San Rafael



Photo : Eric Partrat

November - 1998


"Minas de San Rafael"

This image in its original context, on the page : 00000478.htm



agave striata on gypsum hill


This image in its original context, on the page :



Typical vegetation around "Minas de San Rafael"


This image in its original context, on the page :


Agave stricta 


This image in its original context, on the page :



Dasylirion longissimum


This image in its original context, on the page :


Dodonea viscosa


This image in its original context, on the page :


Hechtia glomerata


This image in its original context, on the page :


Pinguicula gypsicola in the Botanical garden of Liberec. Is it representative of the original habitat of this species ?


Photo : Jan Flisek


Pinguicula gypsicola in Botanical garden of Liberec.  Is it representative of the original habitat of this species ?


Photo : Jan Flisek