Greater Butterwort, or Bog Violet, is a larger plant than Common Butterwort; even so it is a small perennial. The flower makes many botanists consider it to be the most beautiful of the Irish flora; it is a rich violet colour.
Like Common Butterwort this plant is insectivorous, the sticky, yellowish leaves rolling inwards to trap and digest insects. Similarly it grows in bogs, damp clearings in woods, wet heaths and rocks. Unlike Common Butterwort it only grows in a limited area: Cork and Kerry, where it is prolific, and Limerick and Clare, where it is rare. It can be cultivated in an Alpine house or as a garden plant in acid, boggy soil. As well as being beautiful, Greater Butterwort has an interesting history. James Drummond, a Scot and the curator of Cork's botanic garden, was the first to discover it in Ireland; he found it in wet country in County Cork in 1809.
The flowers appear in May and June.
Greater Butterwort is considered a plant mainly of south-western Europe and, except for an introduction in Cornwall, does not grow in Britain. It grows on the Jura, the French Alps, the Pyrenees and the mountains of northern Spain.