Common name: Pinguicula
Scientific name: Pinguicula crystallina
It is a perennial herb of 4-15 cm height with yellowish white flowers that end in violet lobes and the flowering period is between March to October. The name of the plant refers to the Latin Pinguis which means “lipids”, due to the oily texture that characterizes the leaves of the plant. Lipids secreted from the leaves of the plant are particularly sticky and attract insects which, when adhered, begin to degrade gradually as for the useful nitrogenous ingredients to be absorbed from the plant.
This plant can be found in wet rocky areas near permanent springs and waterfalls of the Troodos National Park, where 7 spots were spoted: Alas, Koskinas, Kambos of Livadi, Kannoures, Loumata Aeton, Kalidonia and Trikoukia.
Pinguicula is the only insectivore plant in Cyprus. Insectivore plants are characterized by their ability to capture insects with the aid of specialised organs, which are then broken down through biochemical processes, converting them into assimilable nitrogenous materials.
Protection – Threats
Pinguicula is listed in the “Red Data Book of the Flora of Cyprus” where it is evaluated as “Vulnerable” due to the small size and limited extent of the population. Characteristically, the total population in Cyprus does not exceed the number of 67,400 individuals while the main threats for the population decline include the drying of the plant’s natural habitat due to water drainage for agriculture use and due to natural drought, as well as the construction of roads that cause fragmentation of the plant’s habitats.
 T., Tsintides, C.S Christodoulou, P. Delipetrou, K. Georghiou, 2007: The Red Data Book of the Flora of Cyprus. Cyprus Forestry Association, Nicosia 2007
© Th. Kyriakou