Scientific Name: Utricularia minor
You may have heard of the Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula) and its carnivorous eating habits, but did you know that there are other plants that hunt? In fact, the bladderwort plant (Utricularia) is 100 times faster than the Venus flytrap.
The bladderwort plant lives in fresh water and is such a successful hunter that it doesn’t grow any roots. This plant catches its prey by using tiny capsules, which have doors on them that are lined with very sensitive bristles. If a small water creature touches the bristles “smooosh” goes the door and the prey is tightly sealed inside. The bladderwort then secrets acids to digests its prey and within two hours the plant is ready to reset the trap to try and catch another tasty snack.
True free-floating bladderworts are annual plants that lack roots but have flowers on erect stems above the water. The entire floating plant is only about 8 inches tall. Flowers emerge above the surface and are yellowish with 3-lobes and a spur underneath. Underwater the leaf branches or petioles are fleshy and inflated with air which allows them to float. Leaves are whorled with 4 to 10 lateral leaves which fork often giving them a very delicate capillary appearance. Bladderworts are unique in that the underwater leaves bear small oval “bladders” that trap and digest small aquatic creatures. Bladderworts are usually found in quiet shallow, acidic waters and can form dense mats.
Submerged portions of all aquatic plants provide habitats for many micro and macro invertebrates. These invertebrates in turn are used as food by fish and other wildlife species (e.g. amphibians, reptiles, ducks, etc.). After aquatic plants die, their decomposition by bacteria and fungi provides food (called “detritus”) for many aquatic invertebrates. Bladderwort has no known direct food value to wildlife.
------------- some quotes from web pages. I did not know what this plant was, until I looked it up
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