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Marcus, Joseph A.
Utricularia gibba L.
Bladderwort, Conespur bladderpod, Humped bladderwort
USDA Symbol: utgi
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Humped bladderwort is a perennial aquatic herb without roots. It has slender stems which may be floating, submerged or creeping along the substrate. The stem leaves are threadlike with hairless margins, alternate, numerous, and between 1/8 and 3/8 in. long. They may be undivided or generally 2-parted at the base and each part may be forked again. The bladders or “traps” are 1 or 2 valve-lidded and borne on leaves that are less than 1/16 in. wide – it is these structures that trap small invertebrates such as insects. Inflorescence have 1 to 4 yellow flowers 6 to 8 mm (¼ to 5/16 in.) long at the end of a 15 cm (6 in.) stalk.
Bladderworts are carnivorous plants with complex modified underwater appendages or “sacs” that trap insects and other small animals; this provides them with excess nutrition which allows them to survive in low nutrient conditions.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf Arrangement: Alternate Size Notes:
1-6 inches. Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug
AL , AR , CA , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , HI , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV Canada: NB
, NS USDA Native Status: L48(N), HI(I), PR(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Wet
Conditions Comments: Water must be rich in microorganisms for the insectivorous bladderwort to survive.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
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Record Modified: 2007-08-10
Research By: TWC Staff