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Bladderwort- Adaptations, Uses, Habitats, Eats(Common Plant)

Bladderwort (Utricularia) is a plant that eats insects and zooplankton to get food. These plants are known as carnivorous plants. As they can fulfill its need for light by digesting other living organisms , it may plants or animals, insects etc. The common name you may have heard is Utricularia, is the genus of carnivorous plant and its family has over 232 different species. Bladderwort mostly grow in water land or wet soils and can be found all over the world except one continent which is Antarctica. These plants capture living organisms like insects using a bladder-like trap which is hollow sacs that is used to digest every prey it gets in contact with. The trap is about 0.2 mm – 1.2 cm and can eat the rotifers and protozoa from watery soil. These can be propagated using its flowers and its flowers are compared with most famous orchids and snapdragons plants. It’s some of the species which are very unique and can be found in Australia and South America.

It has many colors and it can be cultivated easily , the most beautiful ones are purple and yellow flowers. It can be sized from 3mm to 10cm Wide & they mostly grow vertically. You may find some of its color beautiful that may be the reason some of the insects get attracted to its flowers.

Utricularia has thin stems and some of its species have branches also , sometimes they do produce leaves which can apply the photosynthesis process which plants normally do. That time may be it will not feed from tiny animals and can get food from sunlight.

bladderwort (Utricularia)
bladderwort (Utricularia)

Bladderwort uses is to resolve issues regarding infection in urinary tracts and those who have problems like kidney stones. They may also be helpful in stimulating gallbladder secretions, and can even encourage weight loss. It can also solve swelling and fluid retention and spasms [Source 1]. According to WebMd, the bladderwort dried leaves can be used to make tea which contain medicinal properties. Many people use this carnivorous plant in resolving kidney stones but I suggest why not go for lemon and pomegranate juice that clear the tract. There are more options to try as we don’t have reliable scientific research that it may work or not.

Caution: Before using anything for medical purpose please take advice from doctor or plant expert.

Bladderwort life cycle is not confirmed but they are perennial carnivorous plants means they have life more than 2 years , that indicates they will survive a minimum of 2 years and maximum would be infinite years through propagation or any other method.

Bladderwort habitats are discovered and native to the Northern hemisphere and  found in rivers, wet marshes, big lakes, streams, Soggy soil, small and large ponds and also grows in deep water about 4-6 feet down.They are also found in the United states , many of its Areas.



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Bladderwort eating mostly small insects and aquatic living insects likes larvae, water fleas, worms and aquatic animals like arthropod, annelid, like invertebrates( which are small tiny animals with no backbone). These come under animal species of different kinds.

Zigzag bladderwort (Utricularia)
Zigzag bladderwort (Utricularia)

Bladderwort Adaptations are mostly dry climate conditions and their roots can directly pull all the water from nearby surfaces. Bladderwort can easily tolerate low water lands and can survive by eating all tiny insects and zooplankton. These plants float below and above the water surface to capture any prey. The bladderwort doesn’t have roots and with only a stem that sometimes looks transparent and above is the flower bloom that gets closed once the insect sits on it. Utricularia genus have over 210 species and most common are these 4 varieties.

  • Floating bladderwort
  • Northern bladderwort
  • Common Bladderwort
  • large purplish bladderwort

All 4 of these have leaves floating on the water surface and wait for the tiny insects in ponds, lakes, and other water areas. They grow stems horizontally and don’t require roots.

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Amelia Clark

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