Humped Bladderwort, Beach Botany

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Humped Bladderwort, Utricularia gibba is a small mat-forming perennial, carnivorous aquatic bladderwort that has no roots. So it is either submerged, floating or creeping along the substrate. Numerous leaves are alternate on threadlike stems that can be 10” in length. Leaves are about 1/8” to 3/8” long and free floating. Leaves are interspaced with small scattered bladder traps for swimming insects. Bladderworts trap insects and small animals to acquire Nitrogen which is lacking in water habitats.

Tiny bright yellow flowers are held out of the water 1” to 5” inches by a naked stem. Two green sepals are behind the flower. The flower has two lips both the same length. The lower lip has a large inflated and indented pouch with some reddish streaks. Diameter is ¼” wide. There is also a curved spur below the lower lip. Fruit is a capsule 1/8 in diameter.

Habitats are bogs and the edges of ponds. It is disbursed in almost every county in the state. Family is Lentibulariaceae. (Bladderwort family). There are 14 native species in the genus Utricularia in Florida. Also in the Family is the Genus Pinguicula (Butterworts) which are the terrestrial’s carnivores. This specimen was found in the OK Slough in Hendry County.

Photo by James Rodwell