Pinguicula gigantea is a tropical species of carnivorous plant in
the family Lentibulariaceae. Its native range is within Mexico. P.
gigantea's flower is usually a purple colour with the occasional
light blue also seen. P. gigantea was once classified as Pinguicula
This Pinguicula was discovered by Alfred Lau and described by the
botanist Hans Luhrs.
P. gigantea has a few different forms, such as the 'white flower'
form or the 'blue flower'.
P. gigantea grows in the Mexican state of Oaxaca at an altitude
of 688 meters or 2260 feet.
Leaves and carnivory
P. gigantea, unlike most Pinguicula species, has sticky upper and
undersides of the leaves. The leaves have trichomes on them, which
secrete a mucilage that traps prey. P. gigantea's leaves are among
the largest in its genus. The species epithet, gigantea, describes
The flowers of P. gigantea are usually zygomorphic. The varieties
of P. gigantea differ solely on their flowers, such as the 'blue
flower' P. gigantea or the 'white flower' forms. Other forms have
also been described.
Dormancy and winter
P. gigantea is a tropical Mexican species of Pinguicula. Its
dormancy is not regulated by temperature or light. Like most
tropical species, its dormancy is triggered by lack of moisture.
Very little precipitation falls during the winter in Mexico where
this Pinguicula species lives. In order to survive in these
conditions it forms non-carnivorous leaves and can handle dry
conditions. When the plant emerges from its dormant period in the
Spring, it produces new carnivorous leaves and eventually flowers.
Cultivation of P. gigantea requires little effort. P. gigantea
thrives in soil medium that is more well-drained than most
carnivorous plant media.
P. gigantea can be propagated by seed or by leaf cutting. The
disadvantages to propagation by seed include slow growth and the use
of a second flowering P. gigantea plant to obtain better seed set
results. Propagating by leaf cuttings has the advantage of a shorter
time to the adult plant.
P. gigantea is available in cultivation, but not widely