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The species of August 2017

 

Common name:  Pinguicula
Scientific name: Pinguicula crystallina
Family:  Lentibulariaceae

                               

 

 

Description
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.

Distribution
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.

Biology
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.

ProtectionThreats
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.

SOURCES:
[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnivorous_plant
[2] http://www.kykkos.org.cy/imkt.cy.net/10/T10-128.pdf
[3] T., Tsintides,  C.S Christodoulou, P. Delipetrou, K. Georghiou, 2007: The Red Data Book of the Flora of Cyprus. Cyprus Forestry Association, Nicosia 2007

PHOTOGRAPH SOURCES:
http://users.uoa.gr/~kgeorghi/files/12_pinguicula.pdf
© Th. Kyriakou

 

 

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