Definition of butterwort in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbʌtəwəːt/


A carnivorous bog plant which has violet flowers borne above a rosette of greasy yellowish-green leaves that trap and digest small insects, found in both Eurasia and North America.
  • Genus Pinguicula, family Lentibulariaceae: several species, in particular the common butterwort (P. vulgaris)
Example sentences
  • Skylarks sang over the wetlands, carnivorous butterworts were in violet flower and cotton grass fluffed up the land.
  • The violet flowers of butterworts nod manically at the roadside, seeming too delicate for this windswept terrain.
  • There are many more plants that will thrive in medium light, among them Irish moss, Tahitian bridal veil, heart-leaved philodendron, pitcher plant, and butterwort.


Late 16th century: named from the plant's supposed ability to keep cows in milk, and so maintain the supply of butter.

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