Utricularia

The bladderworts are among the most numerous and widespread carnivorous plants, encompassing the ranks of truly weedy plants to expert-level orchid-like gems. Underground or underwater suction traps and bright, often flashy flowers make this a unique group. Bladderworts are sold as 1-2 inch diameter plugs or divisions.

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U. sandersonii "typical" -$11

Famously referred to as the "Angry Bunny bladderwort" due to the uncanny resemblance of the flowers to frowning lagomorph faces, this species is an easy-growing, easy-blooming plant that covers the soil in roughly wedge-shaped leaves and throws up numerous stalks covered in white and purple-patterned blooms that sport what look distinctly like purple-centered ear lobes and a skirt sporting a scowling face. While this form is not as rapid-growing as the blue form, it is far more generous in flowering.

U. sandersonii blue.jpg

U. sandersonii "Blue"- $10

This form of "Angry Bunny" produces broader leaves and  is somewhat more reluctant to flower, with larger blooms bearing broader lower lips shaded in almost solid baby blue save for yellow and green rings near the throat.

U. praelonga -$11

This South American species is rather unique in simultaneously developing two distinctly different types of leaves, one set an elongate ovular ground-hugging type that will blanket the soil, and the other (often produced along the edges of the pot here, interestingly), a tall, grass-like blade up to 6" or more tall. Exposure to strong seasonal changes supposedly should trigger development of stalks that sport several moderately sized, lemon-yellow flowers. 

U. dichotoma -$14

This Australian classic is easy to grow and easy to bloom. Living typically as a terrestrial to affixed aquatic plant (does best just barely flooded), it develops mats of short, teardrop shaped leaves across the soil, and one established will send up thick stalks bearing one to several bright purple slipper-shaped blooms, often in pairs; stronger light equals darker purple. The flowers are also adorned with a bright yellow spot on the upper palate that offsets the violet. This is also a species that produces bladder traps large enough to readily see and often right at the soil surface.

U. prehensilis -$15

A terrestrial bladderwort that forms mats of half-inch to inch-long grass-like leaves (sometimes longer) across the soil surface in a thick, overlapping manner once fully settled; once at this stage, if kept in warm but preferably not hot conditions, it may produce long, prehensile stalks that will grasp and wind around nearby objects before setting several fairly large, lemon-yellow flowers.

U. calycifida -$14

A terrestrial species with broad, rounded leaves up to 3 inches across that may range from solid green to strikingly patterned in red or purple bleeding veins. Self-pollinating flowers are produced on a tall, sturdy stalk and colored in patterned violet and lavender with yellow highlights on the expanded palate.

U. livida -$12

This is one of the classic South African forms of the species, producing mats of small, elongate ovular leaves that cover the soil surface and will grow in anything from mildly moist to slightly submerged conditions. Flower stalks will sport at any one time from one to a half dozen slipper-shaped blooms, the upper lip tiny and the lower colored half-white, half-lavender (though lower light may produce seemingly all-white flowers). Once established it often blooms profusely, dozens of stalks with hundreds of blooms possible even from a small pot.