borealforest.org

 
BACK

Herbs and Other Plant Species of the World's Boreal Forests

World Boreal Trees

GLOSSARIES
Terminology | Pictorial

   
Utricularia minor
Lesser Bladderwort
Lentibulariaceae (Bladderwort Family)

A carnivorous, perennial, shallow water herb.

Description

Lesser Bladderwort Distinguishing Features - Leaves: alternate, with few divisions; segments slender, flat, smooth edged. Bladders: small, deflated, pear-shaped pouches; tiny, 1 - 2 mm long, 1 to 5 per leaf; opening abruptly when trigger hairs are disturbed, sucking in any careless, small aquatic creature; dgestive enzymes and bacteria in the bladder then digest the prey for nutritional use of the plant; when digestion is complete, the nutrient-rich water is extracted from the bladder into the stem, resetting the trap for the next victim. Stem: creeping along bottom or on wet soil; limited branching; 10 - 30 cm long. Roots absent. Flowers: pale yellow, irregular in form, resembling a snapdragon; generally 2 - 8 on the end of a thread-like stalk rising 15 cm above the water's surface; individual flower stalks curved downward when in fruit; lower lip of blossom 4 - 8 mm long, twice the length of the upper; spur quite short. Sepals: 2 to 5. Petals: 5, united to form upper and lower lips. Stamens: 2. Ovary: superior, within blossom; inferior, below flower. Fruit: a many-seeded, single chamber capsule.

Habitat

Circumboreal; in open bogs, sedge meadows, and marshlands; preferring calcium-rich shallow water.

Notes

The bladders of the Bladderworts had long been assumed to be used for flotation until Charles Darwin and associates concluded they were sophisticated traps for tiny animals.



Return to Top of Page



Home | Forest Capital of Canada | About Our Website |
Ontario's North (West) Forest | Boreal Forests of the World | North (West) Forest Industry |
World Links and Resources | "Forest Finder" Search Engine | Educational Resources |
What's Happening | Contacts | Site Map |