Common Butterwort is a small graceful perennial. The flowers are violet coloured with a white throat. The leaves are distinctive. They are a pale yellow-green and form a basal rosette; they are covered with glandular hairs, and these secrete fluid while the leaves roll up at the edges so as to trap and digest insects. The whole plant is a little sticky.
The plant grows in bogs and wet places and is found mainly in the north and west of Ireland. It is less common in the rest of the country, and is not found in Cork.
This is one of Ireland's few insectivorous plants. Country people believe, or did believe, that Common Butterwort caused a fatal disease in sheep, possibly dropsy.
The flowers appear in May and June.
Common Butterwort grows in the north and midlands of Britain and in mountainous districts of southern Europe. It is also found in northern Asia and North America as far as British Columbia.