Ontario Wildflowers website

Common Bladderwort
Utricularia vulgaris

Common Bladderwort (Utricularia vulgaris) Other common names: Greater Bladderwort

Family: Bladderwort Family (Lentibulariaceae)

Group: Bladderworts

Distinctive features: Small plants growing in bogs/fens or water. No visible leaves. Bright yellow flower. Floating plant. Bladders scattered amongst roots.

Similar species:
  •   Horned Bladderwort (Utricularia cornuta) - rooted in mud in bogs or fens; roots not visible.

  •   Flat-leaved Bladderwort (Utricularia intermedia) - also floating, bladders on separate stalks.

Flowers: Summer;  Yellow;  Irregular flowers;  Yellow, on short stalks rising above the water. Summer.

Leaves: None;  None or very tiny.

Height: Up to 7 cm (3 in)

Stem: Short, smooth, serving only to hold flowers above the water.

Habitat: Wet Areas;  Bogs and fens.

Books: Newcomb's Wildflower Guide: 16    Peterson's Field Guide to Wildflowers: 122    ROM Field Guide to Wildflowers of Ontario: 302   

Native/Non-native: Native

Notes: Please read the Bladderworts page.

Origin and Meaning of Names:
 Scientific Name: vulgaris: common (Latin)

Photographs: 110 photographs available, of which 7 are featured on this page. SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOGRAPHS.

Range Map is at the bottom of the page

Common Bladderwort (Utricularia vulgaris) flowers

Several flowers grow on each stalk of Common Bladderwort.

Common Bladderwort (Utricularia vulgaris)

Note the horn that sticks out towards the front. This is distinctive of Common Bladderwort. The horn on Horned Bladderwort (Utricularia cornuta) sticks straight down.

Common Bladderwort (Utricularia vulgaris) flower

Common Bladderwort (Utricularia vulgaris)

A view of the flower from above.

Common Bladderwort (Utricularia vulgaris)

The flower stalk is short, standing up only a few inches above the water.

Common Bladderwort (Utricularia vulgaris) plant

The whole plant. Common Bladderworts float in the water, with an extensive network of roots in the water.

Common Bladderwort (Utricularia vulgaris) bladders and roots

Here the bladders are visible, scattered amongst the roots. These are how Common Bladderwort obtains its nutrients. The bladders are filled with air. When a tiny animal bventures too close it triggers a trapdoor which springs open and sucks the animal inside, where it is then digested.

Range map for Common Bladderwort (Utricularia vulgaris)

PLEASE NOTE: A coloured Province or State means this species occurs somewhere in that Province/State.
The entire Province/State is coloured, regardless of where in that Province/State it occurs.

(Range map provided courtesy of the USDA website and is displayed here in accordance with their Policies)