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Eastern Purple Bladderwort – Wild Weeds

Wild Weeds – Weed of the Month

Eastern Purple Bladderwort

Utricularia purpurea
Eastern Purple Bladderwort (by Eleanor Dietrich)

Eastern Purple Bladderwort (by Eleanor Dietrich)

Eastern Purple Bladderwort is an aquatic carnivorous plant commonly found in Florida wetlands, swamps, and shallow bodies of water. Similar to Venus fly traps, insect prey will brush up against the sensitive hairs on the flower which trigger the plant to close. After closing the plant releases digestive enzymes which break down the prey.

Flowers of this plant are pale-purple, almost violet. The lower lip of the flower bears a white patch with a bright yellow center. Flowers are small, only about a half an inch long, but the plant itself can reach heights of 6 inches or so. Leaves have a lacy appearance are arranged in whorls around the stem, they are typically submerged in the water.

Learn more about the plant characteristics here:

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One Comment on “Eastern Purple Bladderwort – Wild Weeds

  1. Wow, I love this aquatic plant and your post takes me back 47 years when myself and another Botany student were gliding along in canal is the Everglades area. I spotted the plant and we both stopped paddling as we drifted by. And we drifted right by a huge gator, 12 footer, basking on the canal bank. Both the plant and the gator took our breath away. That is to say we held our breath hoping we did not startle that gator, he/she could easily have swamped our canoe!

    That is my first experience of seeing this plant in its natural setting. Thank you for your blog on the little things.

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