Tuesday, October 18, 2011

More about Purple Bladderwort in Black Pond

The round shape, upper right, is the bladder. Drawing source:Britton and Brown, 1913.

The carnivorous plant in the previous story is probably Eastern Purple Bladerwort Utricularia purpurea.  It's found throughout eastern North America.

"Purple Bladderwort is a free-floating carnivorous aquatic plant.  The name Utricularia is from the Latin 'utriculus' meaning 'a little bag' in  reference to the tiny bladder sacs found in the whorls of submersed leaves."

"The bladders have a trap door which opens to suck in tiny aquatic animals.  Until recently this carnivory was viewed as a typical predator-prey interaction with the plants benefiting from nutrients derived from the trapped organisms. Recent research has shown the bladders support living communities of microrganisms and that Bladderwort plants derive more benefit from the by-products of this living community than from carnivory.From Margo Holt.

The bladderwort flower rises above the surface, buoyed by the clusters of submerged leaves.
It's a floating plant, without any roots.

Two rare species of bladderworts have been found in Harwich:

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