Utricularia vulgaris

Common Bladderwort

Pictures of Utricularia vulgaris (Common Bladderwort)

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Common names

Common Bladderwort.

Scientific name

Utricularia vulgaris L.

Conservation status and threats

NOT protected species in Bulgaria.

Description and identification

Utricularia vulgaris is a perennial herbaceous floating plant. Raceme of up to 20 bright yellow ½ to ¾-inch snapdragon-like flowers at the top of a stout reddish green stem, emerging up to 8 inches above the waterline. Flowers are generally globular; the broad lower lip angles upward, the smaller upper lip fans above it, erect or angled towards the lower lip. A stout spur is below, at least half as long as the lower lip, extending out horizontally and curving upward. Flowers have finely articulated red venation on the protuberance of the lower lip. Behind the flower are 2 small, egg-shaped, green sepals, the lower with a rounded or notched tip, the upper slightly larger than the lower and with a more pointed tip. Each flower has a short green stalk. Plant is free floating and has no roots. Leaves are alternate, ¾ to 2 inches long, with 1 or 2 main divisions from the base, each with alternate branches, a branch forked a few to several times into thread-like segments, and the central stalk often zig-zagging between the branches. Small reddish bladders extend from leaf filament axils. Leaves are mostly submerged though this species can grow above the waterline in wet muck. Flowering June-August1.


In swamps, lakes and slow-flowing waters in plains, foothills and mountains2.

Distribution in Bulgaria

Throughout the country, but rarely; from sea level to 2000 m above sea level3.

General distribution

Temperate Eurasia, Northwest Africa, Northern Siberia, North America4.


1 Utricularia vulgaris (Common Bladderwort): Minesota Wildflowers.

2 Маркова, М. 1995. В: Флора на Република България, том Х, Издателство на БАН, София.

3 Маркова, М. 1995.

4 Маркова, М. 1995.

Utricularia vulgaris на български

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