from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of numerous carnivorous plants of the genus Pinguicula, having a basal rosette of leaves coated with a sticky secretion that traps small insects.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A name common to the species of Pinguicula.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Bot.) A genus of low herbs (Pinguicula) having simple leaves which secrete from their glandular upper surface a viscid fluid, to which insects adhere, after which the margin infolds and the insects are digested by the plant. The species are found mostly in the North Temperate zone.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any plant of the genus Pinguicula.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun any of numerous carnivorous bog plants of the genus Pinguicula having showy purple or yellow or white flowers and a rosette of basal leaves coated with a sticky secretion to trap small insects


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • It's called a butterwort, and it always grows in boggy places; I wouldn't advise you to go after one again without asking father first. "

    Milly and Olly

  • The machinery is long gone and water mint, butterwort, dragonflies and frogs flourish in the fenny pools where grey crystals of galena were separated from the spoil, but the shells of the buildings remain.

    Country diary: Westgate, Weardale

  • White and gold rocks, rimmed round with purple butterwort, Indian paintbrush and feathery yellow stonecrop, created magnificent tumbles of color in the desolate landscape.

    Blood Lure

  • Osmunda, the Pinguicola (butterwort), appears to be now extinct, owing either to drainage or to the ever-offending collector.

    Records of Woodhall Spa and Neighbourhood Historical, Anecdotal, Physiographical, and Archaeological, with Other Matter

  • Its flowers much resemble the small wild violet of the hedgerows, in size and colour more especially; the flower-stalks are, however, sometimes branched, carrying four or five flowers; and if I may be allowed to make another comparison in order to convey an idea of its form, I would mention _Pinguicula vulgaris_, the common butterwort.

    Hardy Perennials and Old Fashioned Flowers Describing the Most Desirable Plants, for Borders, Rockeries, and Shrubberies.

  • Then had come brilliant spots and splashes of color on the summer slopes -- purple butterwort, golden ragweed, aconite, buttercup, deep crimson mossy patches of saxifrage, rosy heather, catchfly, wild geranium, cinnamon rose.

    Days of the Discoverers

  • The leaf of the butterwort bears glandular hairs, and its margins curve inwards when excited by contact of various bodies, especially living insects, and, at the same time, these are caught in the viscid secretion of the glands, and their juices absorbed by the plant.

    Life of Charles Darwin

  • For he had often spent an hour in the place with the doctor, collecting buckthorn and coral-moss, curious lichens, sphagnum, and the round, and long-leaved sundews, or butterwort: for all these plants abounded here, with the bramble and bracken.

    The Weathercock Being the Adventures of a Boy with a Bias

  • The order to which the butterwort and the bladderworts belong also afforded valuable results.

    Life of Charles Darwin

  • There is a little pink butterwort here in the bogs, which grows, too, in dear old Devonshire and Cornwall; and also in the south-west of

    Madam How and Lady Why


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