BLADDERWORT Utricularia longifolia
Utricularia, commonly and collectively called the bladderworts, occur in fresh water and wet soil as terrestrial or aquatic species across every continent except Antarctica. Utricularia are cultivated for their flowers, which are often compared with those of snapdragons and orchids, especially amongst carnivorous plant enthusiasts.
All Utricularia are carnivorous and capture small organisms by means of bladder-like traps. Bladderworts are unusual and highly specialized plants, and the vegetative organs are not clearly separated into roots, leaves, and stems as in most other angiosperms. The bladder traps, conversely, are recognized as one of the most sophisticated structures in the plant kingdom.
The namebladderwort refers to the bladder-like traps. The aquatic members of the genus have the largest and most obvious bladders, and these were initially thought to be flotation devices before their carnivorous nature was discovered.
The generic name Utricularia is derived from the Latin utriculus, a word which has many related meanings but which most commonly means wine flask, leather bottle or bagpipe.
Flowers are usually produced at the end of thin, often vertical inflorescences. They have two asymmetric labiate (unequal, lip-like) petals, the lower usually significantly larger than the upper. They are similar in structure to the flowers of a related carnivorous genus, Pinguicula.
Utricularia can survive almost anywhere where there is fresh water for at least part of the year; only Antarctica and some oceanic islands have no native species. In common with most carnivorous plants, they grow in moist soils which are poor in dissolved minerals, where their carnivorous nature gives them a competitive advantage; terrestrial varieties of Utricularia can frequently be found alongside representatives of the carnivorous genera–Sarracenia, Drosera and others–in very wet areas where continuously moving water removes most soluble minerals from the soil.
Note: These seeds are extremely tiny! It's just how they naturally are. Reading glasses are recommended to aid with seeing them, even for those who don't normally require glasses to read. The seeds are shipped in either a wax envelope, or folder within a small paper. Open carefully, and sprinkle onto the growing medium. Do not bury the seeds. Germination information is below.
Seeds per pack: 5
Germination: Sprinkle the tiny seeds on top of the growing medium. Do not cover them. Use a mixture of 30% sand and 70% peat moss. Cover the container with plastic to retain moisture. Place the container in very bright light at room temperature. Once the small plants begin to grow, slowly open the plastic a little each day. Use rain water or bottled water (use a spritz bottle while plants are small) to regularly water plants, keep consistently moist (never totally drying) but do not leave them standing on water. Generally seeds germinate anywhere from 1 to 3 months, but some stragglers can take up to a year.