P. agnata

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Pinguicula agnata Casper (1966)






Based on herbarium sheets with plants collected on slopes above the "Barranca de Tolimán" (Tolimán Canyon), state of Hidalgo, the German botanist Siegfried Jost Casper described in 1963 a new species and named it P. agnata. The name is derived from the Latin term "agnatus" and means "late borne". This refers to the complicated taxonomic history of specimen related to this species, as in earlier days other botanists have related those specimen to different species. In the meantime there were additional locations of P. agnata found in the Mexican states of Hidalgo, Querétaro and Guanajuato.





The predominant vegetation where P. agnata occurs consists of thorny bushes and shrubs, succulents and cacti. Locally this vegetation type is called "matorral submontano". Currently this species is known from elevations between 350 and 2000 m above sea level. The climate is characterized by a dry period in winter and a more rainy season during summer. During the dry season most shrubs and bushes do drop their foliage. Although Casper described this species as tropical homophyllous, field studies and cultivation of plants have revealed that in reality P. agnata is tropical heterophyllous. During the dry season plants do form smaller, more compact leaves that mostly do not bear any carnivorous glandular hairs, while during the rainy season leaves are more elongated and are covered with glandular hairs. P. agnata mainly grows in crevices or in mosses in more shady areas on vertical calcareous cliffs.

The compact winter rosette consists of 10 to 20 obovate, green, reddish or redbrown coloured leaves. The upper surface of the leaf is densely covered with white hairs. During more wetter dry seasons it can happen that on the winter leaves there are also some glandular hairs present. The size of the winter rosette varies between 5 and 7 cm in diameter.






The summer rosette consists of 10 to 15 sub-erect, spathulate or obovate-oblong, 7 to cm long leaves. THe upper leaf surface is densely clothed in sessile and stipitate glandular hairs. The margin of the leaf can be slightly turned downwards, but is mostly flat. Leaf colour varies between dark green, olive green, reddish or red-brown. Under shady conditions leaves are often green only. As the plants are dividing regularly, plants are often found growing together in groups. 


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In habitat plants do flower out of the winter rosette. Major flowering season is between November and March. In culture P. agnata can flower from both winter and summer rosette, which might result from different growing conditions. Flowers are borne singly on erect flower scapes that can get between 5 and 23 cm long and are densely covered with stipitate glandular hairs. The corolla is subisolob. Petals of the upper lip are slightly smaller compared to the petals of the lower lip. Colour of the petals is white with the margin of the petal more or less pale violet or violet. Some flowers are completely white or do have only a very thin violet margin. For most flowers the base of the petals is marked with pale violet or dark violet spots. on the whole upper surface or only around the throat the petals can be densely covered with white hairs. The almost cylindrical corolla tube can get up to 1,5 cm long and is of a green or yellow-green colour. The spur is slightly curved, club-shaped, green, with an obtuse or rounded tip is densely covered with stipitate glandular hairs.


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The cultivation of P. agnata is quite simple. Preferably plants should not be grown under to wet conditions during summer, while during winter the substrate should be dry or only periodically moist, as this helps to prevent any fungus infection of the roots. The species seems to prefer a substrate with larger pores that secures a good aeration of the roots. The use of pure vermiculite has shown very good growing results.