Carnivorous plants

Utricularia

The Utricularia are a delicate – looking carnivorous plants, which produce some really pretty flowers. Many of them develop under water, in swamps, which is why they are very, very interesting to keep indoors in glass containers, for example.

Their care is therefore a little different from what other carnivores need. But this should not worry you, since they are relatively easy .

Origin and characteristics of Utricularia

Image – Wikimedia/ Mini Anto

Utricularia are carnivores native to the whole world, except Antarctica. They usually thrive in moist soils, but also in places like freshwater rivers and swamps. They are characterized by having roots, leaves and stems that are not clearly differentiated.

Their traps are like very, very small bladders, between 0.2 and 5mm in diameter depending on the species, which open as soon as a tiny insect passes near them. The opening and suction mechanism is so fast and complex that they are considered to be one of the most sophisticated in the entire plant kingdom.

The flowers sprout at the end of fine stems, measure from a few millimeters to 6 centimeters, and have two petals of various colors. They produce seeds in large numbers, with a size of 0.2 to 1mm.

Main species

The most commons are:

Utricularia graminifolia

Image – Flickr/ satish nikam

It is a terrestrial or aquatic carnivore native to Asia, specifically to Burma, China, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand. It produces purple flowers with a lighter center.

Related article:Utricularia graminifolia

Utricularia gibba

Image – Flickr/ ashitaka

It is an aquatic carnivore, with a lively or annual cycle depending on the climate, native to the temperate and warm regions of the world.  Produces yellow flowers.

Utricularia sandersonii

It is a terrestrial carnivore endemic to South Africa that produces small white flowers.

Utricularia vulgaris

Image – Wikimedia/ Leonhard Lenz

Known as lentibularia, it is a floating or submerged aquatic carnivore native to Europe, except Portugal, Iceland and Turkey. Produces yellow flowers.

Utricularia bisquamata

Image – Wikimedia/ Denis Barthel

It is an annual carnivore native to southern Africa that lives in moist soils. It produces bluish-purple flowers.

Utricularia longifolia

Image – Flickr/ Alex Lomas

It is a terrestrial carnivore endemic to Brazil that produces purple flowers.

Utricularia inflata

Image – Flickr/ Eleanor

It is an endemic aquatic carnivore to North America that produces yellow flowers.

Utricularia subulata

Image – Wikimedia/ Bob Peterson

It is a carnivore with an annual, terrestrial cycle, native to practically the whole world, from tropical to temperate regions. Produces yellow flowers.

Utricularia calycifida

Image – Wikimedia/ Petr Dlouhý

It is a carnivore of terrestrial and perennial habit endemic to South America. It produces light pink flowers.

Utricularia purpurea

Image – Flickr/ Doug McGrady

It is an aquatic carnivore endemic to North and Central America that produces purple flowers.

Utricularia humboldtii

Image – Flickr/ John Pittman

It is an aquatic and perennial carnivore endemic to South America that produces purple flowers.

Utricularia reniformis

Image – Wikimedia/ Salicyna

It is a perennial carnivore with a terrestrial habit endemic to Brazil that produces yellow flowers.

Alpine utricularia

Image – Wikimedia/ Denis Barthel

It is a terrestrial carnivore native to the Antilles and northern South America that produces white flowers with a yellowish spot inside.

Utricularia livida

Image – Wikimedia/ Michael Wolf

It is a perennial and terrestrial carnivore native to central and southern Africa, as well as Mexico, that produces white flowers.

Utricularia cornuta

Image – Wikimedia/ Orchi

It is a perennial carnivore endemic to North America that can grow as terrestrial or semi-aquatic.

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