Utricularia radiata

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Utricularia radiata
Utricularia radiata AFP.jpg
Photo by Fred Nation hosted at Atlas of Florida Plants
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicots
Order: Scrophulariales
Family: Lentibulariaceae
Genus: Utricularia
Species: U. radiata
Binomial name
Utricularia radiata
Natural range of Utricularia radiata from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common Names: floating bladderwort; small swollen bladderwort;[1] little floating bladderwort[2]

Taxonomic Notes

Synonym: U. inflata var. minor Chapman


Utricularia radiata is a dioecious annual or perennial that grows as a forb/herb.[2] It has inflated conspicuous petioles and floats suspended on top of water[3] or submersed.[4] This species reproduces sexually and by fragmentation. It produces winter buds/turions and has an unrooted growth form.[5] Its size ranges from 0-1 ft (0-30.5 cm) and flowers are yellow and 0.5 in (1.27 cm).[6] Seedlings lack cotyledons.[7]


This species occurs from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Maine, southward to southern Florida, westward to Texas, and disjunct in western Virginia, western Tennessee, and northwestern Indiana. Reports of it occurring in Cuba and South America are in error according to Weakley.[1] Disjunct populations are also reported in southwestern Michigan.[8]



U. radiata occurs in ponds, depression ponds, lakes, and ditches.[1] In Nova Scotia, it typically grows in 1-3 m deep water and is associated with Brasenia shreberi.[9]


In the southeastern and mid-Atlantic United States, U. radiata flowers from may through November.[1]

Use by animals

As a carnivorous bladderwort, Utricularia species can prey upon a range of zooplankton and phytoplankton, including copepoda, ostracoda, Cladocera, Chironomidae,[10] diatoms (Bacillariophyceae), green algae (Charophyceae, Chlorophyceae), dinoflagellates (Dinophyceae), flagellates (Euglenophyceae), and Cyanobacteria.[11] This can include larval parasitic blood flukes (i.e. Schistosoma mansoni) which creates the possibility of U. radiata being used to reduce parasite densities in endemic areas.[12]

Conservation and Management

Cultivation and restoration

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Weakley AS (2015) Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Herbarium.
  2. 2.0 2.1 USDA NRCS (2016) The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 15 February 2018). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.
  3. Further notes on coastal floral elements in the bogs of Augusta County, Virginia. Rhodora 42(495):86-93.
  4. Reinert GW, Godfrey RK (1962) Reappraisal of Utricularia inflata and U. radiata (Lentibulariaceae). American Journal of Botany 49(3):213-220.
  5. Capers RS, Selsky R, Bugbee GJ (2009) The relative importance of local conditions and regional processes in structuring aquatic plant communities. Freshwater Biology 55(5):952-966.
  6. Plant database: Utricularia radiata. (15 February 2018) Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. URL: https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=UTRA
  7. Kondo K, Segawa M, Nehire K (1978) Anatomical studies on seeds and seedlings of some Utricularia (Lentibulariaceae). Brittonia 30(1):89-95.
  8. Reznicek AA (1994) The disjunct coastal plain flora in the great lakes region. Biological Conservation 68:203-215.
  9. Hill NM, Boates JS, Elderkin MF (2000) Low catchment area lakes: New records for rare coastal plain shrubs and Utricularia species in Nova Scotia 102(912):518-522.
  10. Andrikovics S, Forro L, Zsunics E (1988) the zoogenic food composition of Utricularia vulgaris in the Lake Ferto. Opuscula Zoologica 23:65-70.
  11. Alkhalaf IA, Hubener T, Porembski S (2009) Prey spectra of aquatic Utricularia species (Lentibulariaceae) in northeastern Germany: The role of planktonic algae. Flora 204:700-708.
  12. Gibson M, Warren KS (1970) Capture of Schistosoma mansoni Miracidia and Cercariae by carnivorous aquatic vascular plants of the genus Utricularia. Bulletin of the World Health Organization 42(5):833-836.