The Caribbean and Central America host the largest diversity of Butterworts of any other location. A few decades ago, when botanists started poking around in Mexico, the number of known species jumped from 30 to over 90. Rather than growing in soggy bogs, many of these pings grow on gypsum cliffs and mossy tree trunks alongside succulents. Some grow epiphytically, physically growing on other live plants without doing serious harm to the host. You’ll even find species growing in the air, dangling from tree branches.
Unlike other species, many Tropical Butterworts adapt to dry winters by transforming into succulents! They shed their carnivorous leaves for a tight rosette of harmless, water-retaining leaves. Like with other succulents, these leaves can be removed and used to root up new plants. It’s during this time that they also send up big, beautiful flowers.
There are a few Tropical Butterwort exceptions, here – Cuban Pinguicula do not form succulent leaves during winter months. They tend to act as annuals in the wild, and grow year-round in hot, humid conditions. They also tend to grow in rocky slopes or riverbanks, but also epiphytically in forested areas.