Pinguicula, commonly known as the Butterworts, is a genus of carnivorous plants that use sticky, glandular leaves to lure, trap, and digest insects in order to supplement the poor mineral nutrition they obtain from the environment. Of the roughly 80 currently known species, 12 are native to Europe, 9 to North America, and some in northern Asia. The largest number of species is in South and Central America. The name Pinguicula is derived from a term coined by Conrad Gesner, who in his 1561 work entitled Horti Germaniae commented on the glistening leaves: “propter pinguia et tenera folia…” (Latin pinguis, “fat”). The common name “butterwort” reflects this characteristic.
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