The Carnivorous Plant FAQ v. 11.5
- courtesy of -
The International Carnivorous Plant Society

Q: Carnivorous plants of the arctic--survivors in the chilly north!

A: While the arctic is a challenging habitat to survive in, it does provide a vast area of relatively uniform conditions for any organism able to adapt to it. A number of carnivorous plants have adapted to the far north, and they occur over great ranges. They are referred to as circumboreal species, since they are found around the globe ("circum") in cold ("boreal") climates.

Species from three genera are contenders for being the farthest-north carnivorous plants. I do not have more precise answers for you than I have given below---sorry!

Drosera
The species Drosera rotundifolia at extreme northerly latitudes in Europe, Asia, and North America. Another circumboreal sundews is Drosera anglica.

Pinguicula
The species Pinguicula villosa occurs far to the north in Europe, Asia, and North America. There are other butterworts with far-northern populations, including Pinguicula alpina, P. macroceras and especially P. vulgaris.

Utricularia
A number of hibernaculum-forming species occur far north, including Utricularia vulgaris, U. macrorhiza, U. intermedia, U. ochroleuca, U. stygia, and U. minor. My guess is that U. minor might be the most northerly of the bunch.

Page citations: Rice, B.A. 2006a; Taylor, P. 1989; personal observation.

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Revised: April 2008
©Barry Rice, 2005