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

Q: Carnivorous plants of Europe--exciting Pinguicula!

A: In Europe, the native carnivorous plants are represented by Aldrovanda, Drosera, Drosophyllum, Pinguicula, and Utricularia. The only endemic European carnivorous plants are in the genus Pinguicula. The countries with the most carnivorous species are France and Spain (about 17 species each), meanwhile in terms of genus diversity, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, and Spain lead with four genera each.

Below I list the European species. In some cases the classification of a country as "European" or "Asian" is a matter of perspective. I treat the borderline countries (Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Russia) on both this and the carnivorous plants of Asia page; Cyprus and Turkey are treated as being Asian. I observe political borders and treat Greenland as European.

Historically Aldrovanda vesiculosa was found in many parts of Europe; an inventory of countries from the late 1800s includes France, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Belarus, Baltic, Ukraine, Russia, Italy, Yugoslavia, and Bulgaria. Currently it is only found in Hungary, Poland, Romania, Yugoslavia, Ukraine, and Russia. (Introduced populations occur in Switzerland.) Its broad decline in range and number of sites is due to human activity--habitat destruction and degradation.

Drosophyllum lusitanicum is almost a European endemic, as the vast number of sites for this plant are in Portugal and Spain. However, a few plants are also found in Morocco.

Europe's big claim to fame is its interesting set of Pinguicula species. While not as large as the list of species in México, it is still impressive. The species are given below with their European ranges; the species endemic to Europe are indicated as such, the others have ranges that extend beyond Europe:

The genus Drosera is represented by only three wide-ranging species, none of which are European endemics:

All the species in Europe are from the genus section Utricularia, except for U. subulata from section Setiscapella. The species U. bremii is almost endemic, except for the occurrence of this plant in Japan.

Page citations: Ansaldi, M., and Casper, J. 2009; Breckpot, C. 1997; Casper, J. 1966; Correia, E. & Freitas, H. 2002; Rice, B.A. 2006a; Schlauer, J. 2002; Taylor, P. 1989.


Revised: June 2012
©Barry Rice, 2005