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Utricularia purpurea

Utricularia purpurea Walter

Vesiculina purpurea (Walter) Raf.

Purple 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
FamilyLentibulariaceae
GenusUtriculariaFrom the Latin utriculus, “a small bag or bladder,” the common name of which is bladderwort
SpeciespurpureaPurple

About plant names...

Purple bladderwort is found in (mostly under) quiet, acidic ponds. Tiny “bladders” attached to submersed leaf seg­ments ingest small aquatic creatures, nourishing the bladderwort, so technically this plant is carnivorous. But the relationship between plant and prey is really a synergy: bladdwort harbors algae, zooplankton, and debris in its bladders, thus both feeding and eating its prey.

Plants: Plants are mostly submersed, up to 3' (91 cm) in size, floating in shallow water. It lacks roots, but has large networks of tiny leaves that look somewhat like patches of algae.

Leaves: In whorls of 5-7, divided into lacy-looking threadlike segments that divide repeatedly. Many segments have a bladder at the end.

Flowers: In groups of 1-4, thrust above the water surface a 2-6" (5-15 cm) on bare, maroon stems. Each flower is purple or red-purple, with a yellow spot in the center, and irregularly shaped. Flowers some­what resemble snap­dragons, and are ¼-½" (7.6-12 mm) in size. They appear from July to September.

Fruits: Round capsules.

Online References:

Utricularia purpurea at Minnesota Wildflowers

Utricularia purpurea on the New England Wildflower Society’s GoBotany site

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

Utricularia purpurea at the University of Florida IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants (A video)

Utricularia purpurea on Wikipedia

References:

Clemants, Steven; Gracie, Carol, Wildflowers in the Field and Forest, Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 134

Utricularia purpurea (Purple Bladderwort)

7/21/2012 · Kim’s House, Tyngsboro, MA
≈ 5 × 7" (13 × 16 cm)

Utricularia purpurea (Purple Bladderwort)

7/21/2012 · Kim’s House, Tyngsboro, MA
≈ 6 × 6" (14 × 14 cm)

Utricularia purpurea (Purple Bladderwort)

7/21/2012 · Kim’s House, Tyngsboro, MA
≈ 3 × 3½" (8.5 × 9.1 cm)

Utricularia purpurea description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 26 Jun 2017.

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Utricularia purpurea (Purple Bladderwort)

7/21/2012 · Kim’s House, Tyngsboro, MA
≈ 2½ × 2½" (6.8 × 7 cm)

Utricularia purpurea (Purple Bladderwort)

7/21/2012 · Kim’s House, Tyngsboro, MA

Utricularia purpurea (Purple Bladderwort)

7/21/2012 · Kim’s House, Tyngsboro, MA

Utricularia purpurea (Purple Bladderwort)

7/21/2012 · Kim’s House, Tyngsboro, MA
≈ 4½ × 6" (11 × 14 cm)

Utricularia purpurea (Purple Bladderwort)

7/21/2012 · Kim’s House, Tyngsboro, MA
≈ 7 × 6" (18 × 14 cm)

Range:

About this map...