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Pinguicula laxifolia



Pinguicula laxifolia

Pinguicula laxifolia is an insectivorous plant of the genus Pinguicula native to the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, the only member of the section Orchidioides. Its pendulous leaves are unusual in the genus, which features mostly species with stiff or succulent leaves.


P. laxifolia is a perennial rosetted herb bearing pendulous to semi-erect elliptic or oblanceolate 4068 mm (1.5-3 in.) long leaves. These are densely covered with stalked mucilagenous and sessile digestive glands, which serve to trap and digest insect prey and absorb the resulting nutrient mixture to supplement their nitrate-low environment. During dryer winter conditions when food is scarce, P. laxifolia forms winter rosettes of short, non-carnivorous leaves to decrease the loss of energy used on carnivorous mechanisms, showing clearly the cost of carnivory.

The flowers are pink to pale violet, with a white throat and darker violet markings. They are thought to appear from February through March.
Distribution and habitat

P. laxifolia is known only from its remote type location in the "El Cielo" cloudforest bioreserve in Tamaulipas, Mexico. Here it grows on well-shaded vertical rock walls from 6300-6800 ft. in altitude. Although it appears to have an extremely restricted distribution, little is yet known about this species