Species Of The Genus Utricularia In Cultivation

Of the almost 300 species of Utricularia fewer than one-third have been cultivated. To date this large group of very interesting plants has generally been ignored by carnivorous plant enthusiasts.

The Utricularia species for which cultural information is available are divided into 4 groups, with plants within each group having similar cultural requirements. They are tropical, temperate, North American, and tuberous groups. It should be noted that the North American group includes all species that grow in North America, but does not mean that these species do not grow anywhere else, as many of them grow on other continents.

Group 1: Tropical Utricularia Species

Terrestrial U. amethystina U. calycifida U. dusenii U. inflexa U. jamesoniana U. leptoplectra U lloydii U. livida U. praelonga U. prehensilis U. pubescens U. pusilla U. sandersoni U. scandens U. simulans U. spiralis U. subulata U. tricolor U. uliginosa

Summer temperatures: 65-95°F (18-35°C) Winter temperatures: 50-68°F (10-20°C)

Group 2: Temperate Utricularia Species

Terrestrial Aquatic

  1. caerulea U. aurea
  2. capensis U. hookeri
  3. dichotoma U. lateriflora U. monanthos U. nova-zealandiae U. racemosa U. violacea

Summer temperatures: 65-82°F (18-28°C) Winter temperatures: 45-68°F (7-20°C)

Group 3: North American Utricularia Species

Terrestrial Aquatic

  1. amethystina 2, also known as U. standleyae
  2. cornuta 1 U. biflora 2

Aquatic U. foliosa U. hydrocarpa U. obtusa U. stellaris

Epiphytic U. alpina U. endresii U humboldtii U. jamesoniana U. longifolia U. nelumbifolia U. praetermissa U. reniformis U. unifolia

Group 3: North American Utricularia Species (cont.) Terrestrial Aquatic LZ. juncea 1 LZ. resupinata 1,W LZ. simulans 2, also known as

LZ. fimbriata LZ. subulata 1

Group 4: Tuberous Utricularia Species

LZ. menziesii

This species grows in southwestern Australia during the cool winters and goes dormant during the dry, hot summers with just a viable tuber remaining in the soil. Summer temperatures: 70-100°F (21-38°C). Winter temperatures: 40-79°F (4-26°C).


Many terrestrial species of Utricularia have small, narrow leaves that are similar to minute blades of grass. It is much easier to identify these species by flower color and scape characteristics than by leaf characteristics. Some of the species often grow in shallow water, but they are firmly anchored to the soil.

  1. amethystina (Also known as LZ. standleyae) The scape arises from a whorl of small blade like leaves. There are 2 smaller bracts between the large bract and scape. Flower color is variable, shades of white, yellow and purple.
  2. capensis Leaves linear to spathulate up to 0.6 in. (1.5 cm) in length. One to 6 flowers that are all yellow or white or light blue with a yellow splotch on the palate.
  3. cornuta There are 1-6 yellow flowers on a yellowish green scape that can reach a length of 13 in. (33 cm). The flowers have an unusually long vertical spur.Bracts alternate on the scape and a pair of smaller bracts occur inside the large one.
  4. dichotoma Leaves narrow to oval-shaped up to 1 in. (2.5 cm) long. Bracts are spurred, opposite or in sets of 3. There may be from one to several light blue to purple flowers that may occur singly or in pairs of 1 or 2 or in whorls of 3.
  5. lateriflora Spathulate leaves up to 0.2 in. (5 mm) long at base of scape. Two to 8 violet to purple flowers with a yellowish to whitish palate on each scape.
  6. juncea Plant is very similar to IZ. cornuta except the scape is often purplish green and shorter, reaching lengths of 9 in. (23 cm). The yellow flowers number from 2-12, are smaller than those of IZ. cornuta, and can be chasmogamous or cleistogamous.
  7. nova-zealandiae Leaves fan-shaped up to 0.6 in. (1.5 cm) long. Flowers purple to violet with vertical yellow lines on the palate.
  8. menziesii During dormancy, the dry season, the above-ground parts of the plant
  9. fibrosa 1,W
  10. floridana 2
  11. foliosa 2
  12. geminiscapa 1,W
  13. gibba 1,W
  14. inflata 1,W
  15. intermedia 1,W
  16. macrorhiza 1,W, also known as
  17. vulgaris and LZ. australis LZ. minor 1,W LZ. ochroleuca 1,W LZ. olivacea 2 LZ. purpurea 1,W LZ. radiata 1,W

Will survive freezing temperatures, but grow well and form winter buds with winter temperatures of 34-45°F (1-7°C). Summer temperature range 55-85°F (13-29°C) = Summer temperature range 60-90°F (16-32°C). Winter temperature range 40-55°F (4-13°C). = Form winter buds.

die back to an underground corm-like tuber whose shape and size is that of a rice grain The single flowers are red with an unusually long, yellow, ridged palate. Bracts arc opposite or in sets of 3. (Photo 6-6)

  1. prehensilis Leaves are linear to narrow oval in outline and up to 5 in. (13 cm) long. One to 8 yellow flowers are borne on a scape that usually twines.
  2. praelonga Leaves have a variety of shapes from short and wide to long ami narrow or ribbon-shaped reaching lengths of 8 in. (20 cm).
  3. pubescens Leaves are round, peltate, horizontal and the upper surface is coverei I with mucilage producing glands. Diameter of the leaf blade is up to 0.2 in. (5 mm) with ,i vertical petiole that can reach a length of 0.4 in. (1 cm). From 1-10 white to light blue flowers are borne on each scape.
  4. racemosa Leaves are circular to kidney-shaped. Numerous whitish blue flower1, are borne on a scape that often branches.
  5. resupinata A single, purple flower is borne on a scape. Bracts occur in pairs opposite each other and are fused forming a tube that encircles the scape.
  6. sandersoni The fan-shaped leaves are up to 0.8 in. (2 cm) long. One to 6 whitish to light blue flowers with violet streaks are produced in abundance the year around.
  7. simulans (Also known as U.fimbriata) One to 8 yellow or yellowish white flowers are borne on each scape. The sepal and bract margins are feathered (fimbriate).
  8. spiralis There are several varieties in this species. Leaves tend to be linear W> somewhat oval in shape and are up to 2.4 in. (6 cm) long. Flowers 1-15, usually violet with a bluish green, yellow, or white spot on the throat. Scape usually twines.
  9. subulata Two to 8 yellow to purple flowers with yellow-orange palates are borne on a zigzag scape. The bracts alternate on the scape. May have cleistogamous and/oi chasmogamous flowers.
  10. violacea Leaves at base of scape are linear with filaments bearing traps. Bracts are oblong, spurred and opposite on the scape. Flowers are violet.

Aquatic Species

  1. biflora Stems thread-like, usually forming mats. Hair-like leaves bear traps. The base of the bracts clasp the scape which bears 1-2 yellow flowers.
  2. floridana Thread-like leaves. Two to 8 yellow flowers are borne on a zigzag scape.
  3. geminiscapa May have both chasmogamous and cleistogamous flowers. Plant is similar to U. macrorhiza, but smaller. Forms a winter bud. Leaves are hair-like. Flowers yellow.
  4. gibba The hair-like leaves are alternate on the thread-like stems that often form tangled mats. One to 3 yellow flowers are borne on a scape that originates at the point from which several branches or stems radiate. Sometimes the branches creep along the bottom of shallow bodies of water. The rounded bracts partially clasp the scape. Ma\ form a winter bud.
  5. inflata Has 4-17 yellow flowers on a reddish scape that is kept afloat by a whoi I of 4-11 inflated structures attached to the middle of the scape. Each structure or float is widest at its mid-point and tapers to its point of attachment to the scape. (Photo 6-5) Tin-float also tapers from its midpoint to the free end which is finely dissected and beats traps. Floats may reach lengths of 5.5 in. (14 cm). Bracts are oblong, pointed and longet than wide. Produces tubers when the environment dries out and during the winter Winter buds may be formed.
  6. intermedia An aquatic which at times is anchored to the soil below the wain surface. Traps and leaves are borne on separate shoots. Has up to 6 yellow flowers. The middle of the bract is attached to the scape resulting in the formation of a lobe at tin-bottom. Forms a winter bud.
  7. macrorhiza (Also known as U. vulgaris, U. austrais and U. macrorhiza ssp. vulgaris) One of the larger bladderworts often exceeding 13 ft. (4 m) in length with the stem ocea sionally branching. Leaf margins have tiny bristles. Bracts occur singly on the scape. It has 6-25 yellow flowers which have brown or red streaks on the palate. Forms a winter bud.
  8. minor Thread-like stems usually form a jumbled mass. Has the same type of bracts as those of U. intermedia except they tend to be purplish. Tips of the leaves are serrated. Bears 2-9 yellow flowers. Forms a winter bud.
  9. purpurea Has 2-8 pinkish purple or white flowers that have 2 pouch-like lobes on their lower lip. Bracts are attached above their base to the scape. Whorls of branching stems which bear the traps grow from the central stem, giving the appearance of many wheels with spokes on a single axis.
  10. olivacea An extremely small plant. A single, white flower is found on each scape that is usually less than 1 in. (2.5 cm) high. A pair of leaves are located at the base of the scape with bracts alternating on it.

Epiphytic Species

  1. alpina Leaves long, narrow, and terminate in an attenuate tip. Up to 6 white flowers with yellow palates. White, oval-shaped, subterranean tubers are formed that can reach 2 in. (5 cm) in length and which turn green when exposed to light.
  2. endresii Leaves are up to 8.5 in. (22 cm) long and are similar to the leaves of U. alpina except they are narrower. Flowers are pale blue with yellow palates and number up to 6. The oval-shaped subterranean tubers are up to 0.5 in. (1.3 cm) long.
  3. longifolia Leaves similar to those of U. alpina. Produces no tubers and has up to 10 mauve flowers with yellow palates or violet flowers with an orange palate.
  4. reniformis Kidney-shaped leaf blade has a diameter of about 3 in. (7.5 cm) on a slender petiole that can reach 6.5 in. (17 cm) in length. Flowers are light violet with two, vertical yellow stripes on the palate. The tubers are almost spherical.

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  • Felix Hunter
    How to grow utricularia pubescens?
    6 years ago

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