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  • WordNet 3.6
    • n butterwort any of numerous carnivorous bog plants of the genus Pinguicula having showy purple or yellow or white flowers and a rosette of basal leaves coated with a sticky secretion to trap small insects
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Butterwort (Bot) A genus of low herbs (Pinguicula) having simple leaves which secrete from their glandular upper surface a viscid fluid, to which insects adhere, after which the margin infolds and the insects are digested by the plant. The species are found mostly in the North Temperate zone.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n butterwort A name common to the species of Pinguicula. The butterworts grow on wet ground, are apparently stemless, and have showy spurred flowers. The name is due to the greasy-looking viscid surface of the leaves, which are covered with soft, pellucid glandular hairs, secreting a glutinous liquor that catches small insects. The edges of the leaf roll over on the insect and retain it, and the insects thus caught are supposed to serve as food for the plant. In the north of Sweden the leaves are employed to curdle milk.
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In literature:

The butterworts are beauties, and true children of the spring.
"A Florida Sketch-Book" by Bradford Torrey
Pinguicula Violacea: Violet-coloured Butterwort, (instead of 'vulgaris,') the common English and Swiss kind above noticed.
"Proserpina, Volume 2" by John Ruskin
The Butterwort (Pinguicula) is another of these carnivorous plants.
"The Beauties of Nature" by Sir John Lubbock
The order to which the butterwort and the bladderworts belong also afforded valuable results.
"Life of Charles Darwin" by G. T. (George Thomas) Bettany
From no catalogue of quaint plants could the butterwort be omitted.
"The Call of the Wildflower" by Henry S. Salt