Early Butterwort


Ease to Grow: Moderate to Difficult
Dormancy: No
Native Range: Savannas of the Southeast Coastal Plain, N. America
Zones: 7-9 (6-11)

The Early or Primrose Butterwort, Pinguicula primuliflora is a perennial butterwort that is easy to grow. Its broad and numerous leaves are slightly curled along the margins and rounded at the tips. The leaves are shiny from all the digestive glands. They roll slightly inward and digest the prey where it has landed. It can be a large butterwort, about 3-6" across with a rosette of sticky leaves.  It readily clumps from the numerous plants that come from leaf tips and decaying mature leaves. It prefers constantly damp, sandy peat soils, and benefits from being submerged for days or a few weeks at a time in cultivation. It is often associated with P. planifolia or P. ionantha, but not P. luteaP. caerulea or P. pumila which favor somewhat drier habitats. They benefit from the dappled light provided by growing among grasses and other plants. It flowers prolifically, nearly year round, with a quiet spell in February. The numerous flowers are pale violet with a touch of pink. They are quite striking in a group.  It does not form a winter bud. It is prolific and a delight to have in the collection, indoors or out. It is a great carnivorous plant for beginners and terrariums. This selection comes from tissue culture.

Plants are shipped bare-root, wrapped in damp sphagnum moss. Transplanting is a challenge. Use a humidity dome, and initially saturated soil. Photographs are representative of species, and not the specific plant shipped.

Height: 1" - 3+"
Plant Type: Perennial, Warm Temperate
Soil: Long-fiber Sphagnum or All-purpose Mix
Light: Bright to partial bright indoors, full to bright open shade outdoors
Use: Grows well in the protected bog garden in summer, greenhouse and indoors. It is an excellent terrarium plant.  Flowers frequently.

Customer Reviews

Based on 42 reviews
Quick to Bloom

Maybe not beginner friendly, Very sensitive plant but only after a few weeks it has given me a bloom, lovely light purple almost white. The leaves that had flies are dying back now. We will see how the new growth comes but it’s an adorable plant, just has specific care needs.


It’s been only a few weeks, and we flowered beautiful light purple almost white bloom. The fly trap portion worked for a little while but the leaves are dying back now

Excellent results

Arrived tiny yet healthy, planted in some damp long fibered sphagnum and wrapped in a paper towel sealed in a ziplock bag. I then planted it in a sand, perlite and peat mixture in a small plastic pot hydrated via tray method. It took off, growing to flowering maturity in a mere 7 months. Now it has three flowers blooming or developing and is speckled with gnats. (Even a few days after arrival it caught plenty of flies.) Stellar results and a great value. And more satisfying than starting with a mature plant.

Heidi Hohler
Very very small

First time I got a plant which was so small it died. Don’t think I will buy from here again


This was very well packaged. All the plants arrived in great condition even with the longer shipping time due to the holidays.

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