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Published In: Species Plantarum 1: 18. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/25/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted

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1. Utricularia L. (bladderwort) (P. Taylor, 1989)

Plants annual or perennial, lacking true roots, with slender branched stems, some of these sometimes stoloniferous. Leaves (these sometimes interpreted as systems of flattened branches) absent or more commonly alternate (opposite or whorled elsewhere), sessile or short-petiolate, glabrous. Stipules absent. Leaf blades entire or dichotomously and/or pinnately dissected into few to numerous linear lobes. Traps few to numerous, small, globose to saclike, attached mostly laterally along the leaf divisions. Inflorescences racemes or sometimes reduced to a solitary flower, usually with a relatively short axis and a long stalk, the flowers subtended by small bracts, these also usually scattered along the inflorescence stalk. Flowers perfect, hypogynous. Calyces deeply divided into 2 lobes, the upper lobe often slightly broader than the lower one, persistent at fruiting. Corollas zygomorphic, 2-lipped with a very short tube, the lower lip with a raised, folded, and/or inflated, often slightly 2-lobed “palate” of tissue, which effectively closes the corolla throat, and a conic to narrowly cylindric spur at the base (this usually angled forward under the corolla). Stamens 2, attached at the tip of the corolla tube, the filaments short, the anthers attached at the midpoint. Pistil 1 per flower, of 2 carpels, the ovary superior, 1-locular, with free-central or basal placentation, the ovules numerous. Style 1, short, the stigma 2-lobed. Fruits capsules, with numerous tiny brown seeds. About 214 species, nearly worldwide.

Utricularia is the only genus of carnivorous plants to be reported thus far from Missouri. The traps generally operate by a suction mechanism, this triggered by disturbance to a pair of minute hairlike appendages located along the rim. Glands inside the trap secrete substances that digest the prey or other organic matter that may have entered the trap. Prey organisms are mostly minute aquatic or soilborne invertebrates and microorganisms.

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