Pinguicula gypsicola

Pinguicula gypsicola is a marvelously peculiar Mexican butterwort. It straight-up looks like the kraken emerging from the depths to swallow a ship. Or maybe it looks more like a sarlacc hungry for Boba Fett? Either way, this Pinguicula is a beauty that is rather particular about having dry winter weather.
To quote Matt Byers of Carnivore Culture (who sells the plant in our marketplace!):
Pinguicula gypsicola is a tropical species that has unusual carnivorous leaves for a Butterwort in that they are linear.  P. gypsicola produces carnivorous summer leaves and non-carnivorous winter leaves.  During winter it requires much less water and care should be taken not to over water them.  During winter it should be treated like a succulent with infrequent watering.

Sample of Butterworts For Sale in the Marketplace

Unique biology of Pinguicula gypsicola

Trap characteristics

Pinguicula gypsicola’s long, narrow, octopussy leaves unfurl from center, and stretch upward about 3 inches (7.5 cm). Leaf width is about 1/10 of an inch (2 mm) wide. In bright light and grown under LEDs, they can adopt a beautiful pinkish-bronze blush. I find it makes an excellent bright windowsill plant in Southern California, where it snacks on fungus gnats that emerge from the soil of my other plants.

Flowers are similar to those on Pinguicula moranensis with slender, pinkish-purple petals. Healthy plants will produce multiple flowers a season.

Other notable characteristics

Pinguicula gypsicola can be found naturally growing on dry gypsum cliffs in Mexico. They have adapted to this dry climate by remaining in a dormant, succulent state during the winter. Lucky for us, this tightly-packed dormant rosette of succulent leaves is freaking adorable to observe. Even better is the ability to gently pull these leaves from the mother plant as a means of propagation – as one would with any other kind of succulent leaf pulling.

Many of the photos featured on this Pinguicula gypsicola profile are courtesy of Matt Byers of Carnivore Culture. Even my plant, seen in a few of the photos, is from Matt. He has a particularly special, award-winning clone of it in his collection, and for sale in the Carnivorous Plant Resource Marketplace, here.

Other Pinguicula species & hybrids