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Utricularia macrorhiza

Utricularia macrorhiza Leconte

Utricularia vulgaris L. p.p.

Utricularia vulgaris L. var. americana A. Gray

Utricularia vulgaris L. ssp. macrorhiza (Leconte) R.T. Clausen

Common Bladderwort, Bladderwort

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderLamialesAromatic herbs and shrubs, including lavender, lilac, olive, jasmine, ash, teak, snapdragon, sesame, psyllium, garden sage, mint, basil, and rosemary
FamilyLentibulariaceaeA family of carnivorous plants containing three genera: Genlisea, the corkscrew plants; Pinguicula, the butterworts; and Utricularia, the bladderworts
GenusUtriculariaFrom the Latin utriculus, “a small bag or bladder,” the common name of which is bladderwort
SpeciesmacrorhizaWith large roots or root stocks

About plant names...

Bladderwort is a native of the Northern Hemisphere, includ­ing most of North America and parts of temperate eastern Asia. Except for occasional racemes of yellow flowers, bladderwort remains submersed in lakes, ponds, wet marshes, and rivers and streams up to about 6' (1.8 m) deep. An underwater rootlike structure contains numerous “blad­ders”—small pouches that help keep the plant near the surface during flowering, then sink it during dormancy periods. But the bladders have another purpose. Common bladder­wort is actually carniverous, and the bladders are spring-loaded traps that suck in water and small organ­isms, and digest them with enzymes and bacteria. They snap shut in about ⅟460th of a second!

Plants: Plants are not anchored and float freely, close to the surface. Rootlike structures are leaves. Underwater stems sometimes produce turions—overwintering, vegetative buds—up to about 1" (2.5 cm) around. (In many of the photos, the water surface is covered with numerous green dots. These are duckweed, not bladderwort.)

Leaves: Leaves are alternate, ¾-2" (1.9-5 cm) long, on a zig-zagged stalk with one or two main divisions from the base, these in turn forked into threadlike sections. They look more like a cloud of algae than a system of leaves. Bladders start out greenish and transparent, becoming dark red or brown to black. They are more than ¹/₁₆" (2 mm) in size.

Flowers: A stalk up to about 10" (25 cm) in height contains a raceme of 6-20 yellow flowers, each resembling snap­dragons and about ½-¾" (1.3-1.9 cm) in size. They appear from late May to September.

Fruits: Round capsules less than ¼" (6.3 mm) around.

Online References:

Utricularia macrorhiza at Minnesota Wildflowers

Utricularia macrorhiza on Wildflowers, Ferns & Trees of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah

Utricularia macrorhiza at the U.S. Forest Service Celebrating Wildflowers site

Utricularia macrorhiza on the Carnivorous Plant FAQ, courtesy of the International Carnivorous Plant Society

Utricularia macrorhiza on wisflora.herbarium.wisc.edu

Utricularia macrorhiza on the Connecticut Botanical Society's Connecticut wildflowers site

Utricularia macrorhiza on SEINet—the Southwest Environmental Information Network

Utricularia macrorhiza from the Jepson Manual

Utricularia macrorhiza (Common Bladderwort, Bladderwort)

6/20/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 21 × 14" (52 × 34 cm)

Utricularia macrorhiza (Common Bladderwort, Bladderwort)

8/22/2012 · Squannacook River Wildlife Area, Townsend, MA
≈ 31 × 21" (78 × 52 cm)

Utricularia macrorhiza (Common Bladderwort, Bladderwort)

The bladderwort is submersed. The blue flowers are pickerelweed. · 7/5/2012 · Groton Place and Sabine Woods, Groton, MA

Utricularia macrorhiza (Common Bladderwort, Bladderwort)

7/9/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 5 × 7" (12 × 17 cm)

Utricularia macrorhiza description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 18 Aug 2019.

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Utricularia macrorhiza (Common Bladderwort, Bladderwort)

7/9/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 2½ × 1¾" (6.4 × 4.7 cm)

Utricularia macrorhiza (Common Bladderwort, Bladderwort)

7/9/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 3½ × 5" (9.1 × 12 cm)

Utricularia macrorhiza (Common Bladderwort, Bladderwort)

7/9/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 3½ × 4" (8.8 × 10 cm)

Utricularia macrorhiza (Common Bladderwort, Bladderwort)

7/9/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA

Utricularia macrorhiza (Common Bladderwort, Bladderwort)

8/22/2012 · Squannacook River Wildlife Area, Townsend, MA
≈ 3 × 2½' (94 × 78 cm)

Utricularia macrorhiza (Common Bladderwort, Bladderwort)

6/20/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA

Utricularia macrorhiza (Common Bladderwort, Bladderwort)

6/20/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
≈ 4½ × 4½" (12 × 11 cm)

Range:

About this map...