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butterwort,common name for several species of the plant genus Pinguicula of the north temperate zone and the mountains of tropical America. It is a member of the family Lentibulariaceae (bladderwortbladderwort
, any plant of the genus Utricularia, insectivorous or carnivorous aquatic plants, many native to North America. Small animals are caught and digested in bladderlike organs of the finely divided submerged leaves.
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(Pinguicula), a genus of perennial insectivorous plants of the family Lentibulariaceae. The leaves are in a basal rosette and are usually elliptical. They are covered by glandular hairs which secrete a mucilage that traps small insects and a sap containing proteolytic enzymes that dissolve the proteins in the insects’ bodies. The flowers are solitary and located on long peduncles. The corolla is bilabiate and spurred. It is violet, blue, or pink, rarely white. There are two stamens. The fruit is a capsule. There are about 35 species in the extratropical regions of the northern hemisphere and in South America. In the USSR there are six or seven species, primarily in the north. The common butterwort (P. vulgaris), which grows in damp places, is the most widely distributed.