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Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Utricularia inflata Walter
Swollen bladderwort, Floating bladderwort
USDA Symbol: UTIN
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
A carnivorous, aquatic plant with several yellow flowers on a stem that rises above the water over a wheel-like float of inflated leaf stalks.
When swimming prey, such as minute crustaceans, touch the trigger hairs surrounding the mouth of one of the bladders, a trapdoor-like flap of tissue swings open and the bladder quickly expands, sucking the organisms inside. Enzymes are secreted to dissolve the prey into nutritional elements for the plant. Among the fifteen species that occur in eastern North America, only this one has floats. Reversed Bladderwort (U. resupinata) and Purple Bladderwort (U. purpurea) have purple flowers. U. olivacea is the most delicate. The entire plant is no longer than a dime, with a yellowish-white flower less than 1/10 (2.5 mm) long borne on a stalk 1/10-1/3 (2.5-8 mm) tall. Greater Bladderwort (U. vulgaris) is a common yellow-flowering form that lacks the inflated leaf stalks.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov
, WA Native Distribution:
Nova Scotia and New England south to Florida; west to Texas; north to Tennessee; northwest to Indiana. Native Habitat:
Ponds and ditches.
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
Record Last Modified: 2012-11-05
Research By: TWC Staff