Botany

Floating Bladderworts Plant Profile



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Floating Bladderwort is a plant that stays on the surface of a body of water. Long, thin floats that are modified leaf stalks hold it up. Utricularia radiata is the scientific name for the little floating bladderwort. It is medium sized.This particular plant is from two to eight inches in length. It grows in ponds and ditches. The flower is yellow in color and is around three fourths of an inch long. The little floating bladderwort blooms from May to October. Like all bladderworts this one is carnivorous.

Ultricularia gibba is the scientific name of the humped floating bladderwort. It is a small species of the aquatic bladderwort that is mat forming. This species occurs naturally in all the states except Alaska, and the Rocky mountain states. It lives in Central and South America, Canada, Israel, Spain and most of Asia and Africa, The name of the humped bladderwort comes from the inflated base at the lower tip of the corolla.

Ultricularia inflata is the bladderwort that is known as the swollen bladderwort, large floating bladderwort or the inflated bladderwort. It is, like all bladderworts an aquatic plant that is a member of the genus Ultricularia. It is a perennial and is native to the southeastern coastal plains of the United States. In the state of Washington it is considered to be a problem because it can be invasive in some areas. The dense mats that form from this plant can drive out other species. The large floating bladderwort can start flowering in January and go all the way through June. It has a floating whorl of spongy structures on the water's surface that are spoke like in design. They support the inflorescences (an arrangement of more than one flower). One plant can produce several of these whorls and inflorescences. The big floating bladderwort obtains its nutrients from the water. It has seed like bladders that trap tiny creatures. It secretes enzymes that enable it to digest the creatures once they are caught inside the bladder.

None of the floating bladderworts have leaves or true roots. The main vegetative stem of the plant is called a filiform stolon. This is a threadlike plant filament that connects the plant to the ground. The stems are about one meter long and are only one to two mm's thick. The stolons are glabrous (smooth surfaced).

The floating bladderworts reproduce from seeds and small fragments.

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