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Utricularia gibba (Bladderwort) | NPIN

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Utricularia gibba (Bladderwort)
Marcus, Joseph A.

Utricularia gibba

Utricularia gibba L.

Bladderwort, Conespur bladderpod, Humped bladderwort

Lentibulariaceae (Bladderwort Family)

Synonym(s): Utricularia biflora, Utricularia fibrosa, Utricularia obtusa, Utricularia pumila

USDA Symbol: utgi

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), HI (I), PR (N), CAN (N)

Humped bladderwort is a perennial aquatic herb without roots. It has slender stems which may be floating, submerged or creeping along the substrate. The stem leaves are threadlike with hairless margins, alternate, numerous, and between 1/8 and 3/8 in. long. They may be undivided or generally 2-parted at the base and each part may be forked again. The bladders or “traps” are 1 or 2 valve-lidded and borne on leaves that are less than 1/16 in. wide – it is these structures that trap small invertebrates such as insects. Inflorescence have 1 to 4 yellow flowers 6 to 8 mm (¼ to 5/16 in.) long at the end of a 15 cm (6 in.) stalk.

Bladderworts are carnivorous plants with complex modified underwater appendages or “sacs” that trap insects and other small animals; this provides them with excess nutrition which allows them to survive in low nutrient conditions.


Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Size Notes: 1-6 inches.
Size Class: 0-1 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: AL , AR , CA , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , HI , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV
Canada: NB , NS

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Wet
Aquatic: yes
Conditions Comments: Water must be rich in microorganisms for the insectivorous bladderwort to survive.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Fredericksburg Nature Center - Fredericksburg, TX
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Nueces River Authority - Uvalde, TX


Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.

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Recommended Species Lists

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Additional resources

USDA: Find Utricularia gibba in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Utricularia gibba in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Utricularia gibba


Record Modified: 2007-08-10
Research By: TWC Staff

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