Utricularia vulgaris (Greater Bladderwort) - photos and description









General: Aquatic, carnivorous plant which captures its prey via tiny submerged bladders.

Small bladders (approx 2 mm in diameter) are found among the leaves. From the book Carnivorous Plants by Randall Schwartz:

The bladder, or trap, is an oval balloon with a double-sealed, airtight door on one end. When the door is closed, the bladder expels water through its walls, creating a partial vacuum inside.

Jutting out near the door is the trigger. Sometimes forked or branched, sometimes single, the device is always deadly. The instant an unsuspecting prey touches the trigger, the door opens. The vacuum inside causes an immediate suction and the victim is gulped up by the plant.

Flowers: Flowers grow in a loose raceme, are yellow with some red spotting, two-lipped with a large lower lip. Flowers measured to 2 cm long and 1 cm wide, racemes measured to 11 cm long.

Leaves: Leaves alternate, numerous, are many times divided into thread like segments. The leafy stems were measured to 40 cm long.

Height: We measured flowering stems to 29 cm long (part of which is submerged).

Habitat: Standing water in prairie sloughs and forest bogs.

Abundance: Common.

Origin: Native.

When and where photographed: The above photos were taken June 22nd, July 10th, 13th, and 15th in prairie sloughs 25 km east of Regina, 50 km and 60 km southeast of Regina, SK, and 225 km northeast of our home in Regina, SK.