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Wetland Plants and Plant Communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin

BLADDERWORT

(Utricularia macrorhiza Le Conte)


Bladderwort leaves and bladders
Bladderwort
Figure 11 - Leaf and bladders

BLADDERWORT FAMILY (Lentibulariaceae)

IND. STATUS: OBL

FIELD CHARACTERISTICS: An aquatic, free-floating herb. Leaves are numerous and highly dissected, with bladders scattered throughout. The leaf- less stems are emergent, 6-20 cm. high, with 6-20 flowers. Flowers are bright yellow and composed of 2 lips 1-2 cm. long, and a short spur, which is about two-thirds as long as the lower lip. In flower from June to August.

ECOLOGICAL NOTES: This bladderwort is found in quiet waters of lakes, rivers, and marshes. A synonym is U. vulgaris L. Other species of bladderworts (Utricularia spp.) can inhabit bogs and calcareous fens. Bladderworts are carnivorous plants that derive their name from the small bladders used to capture minute animal life. The bladders have "trigger hairs" which, when brushed by a small aquatic invertebrate, cause the bladder to rapidly inflate and draw in the unfortunate organism. The victim is then "digested."

SOURCE: Gleason and Cronquist (1991); and Kartesz (1994).


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