Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Yellow Butterwort - Pinguicula lutea   Walter
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Section 6 » Order Scrophulariales » Family Lentibulariaceae
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AuthorWalter
DistributionRestricted to just the southernmost five counties in the Coastal Plain, north to Bladen and Pender counties. Though suitable habitat extends farther northeast to Croatan National Forest (Craven and Carteret counties), as well as in Camp Lejeune in Onslow County, its range simply does not extend that far to the north (as this is an easily observed species).

This is another Coastal Plain "carnivorous" species, ranging north only to southeastern NC, south to southern FL, and west to eastern LA.
AbundanceMore strongly declining than the other two butterworts (Pinguicula); formerly uncommon, but now very rare to rare, except locally numerous in eastern Pender County. The NC NHP has moved its State Rank upward to now S1 (critically imperiled). However, its State Status is still "only" Signficantly Rare. It should be assumed it will be upgraded to the official State Protected List (as Endangered, Threatened, or Special Concern) in the near future.
HabitatThis is a near-strict pine savanna species in NC, rarely occurring in wetter portions of pine flatwoods.
See also Habitat Account for Wet, Sandy, Fire-maintained Herblands
PhenologyGenerally blooms in April and May, around the same time as the other two butterwort species. It fruits shortly after flowering.
IdentificationThis is probably the most strikingly beautiful of the three butterwort species, at least if you prefer rich yellow flowers over blue or violet-blue flowers! At any rate, the yellow flower color stands out at a greater distance than does violet-blue. The species has essentially the same vegetative structure as P. caerulea, with the basal rosette of widely elliptical and sticky leaves being about 2-3" across. Thus, you must see it in bloom to tell the two apart. This species, as mentioned above, has a relatively large golden-yellow or bright yellow flower, about 1-1.5" across, and a flowering stem close to 6" high; there is a spur on the back of each flower. All three species can be seen in bloom mostly just at Holly Shelter Game Land in Pender County, as this species does not range to Camp Lejeune or Croatan National Forest, and P. pumila is scarce in Green Swamp and other Brunswick County sites.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)None
State RankS1 [S1S2]
Global RankG4G5
State StatusSR-P
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