Bladderworth Gallery

Utricularia are carnivorous aquatic, epiphytic or terrestrial plants. Please be aware that the trapping organisms of these plants are so tiny, that they are best observed with a microscope. They have small bladders ranging from a few millimeters to around a fraction of a millimeters. The bladders are vacumized by the plants and closed through a door. Outside of this door there is a hair with some nectar glands, that once triggered open the door. The vacuum inflates rapidly and sucks water including the triggering insect in. Digestion is quite fast at about 90 minutes. After that the vaccum is build up again. The plants capture the smallest water insects up to the size of a mosquito larvae (which it sometimes eats in two sessions, first the tail and then the head!). And while we are at it, some utricularian botany: The bladders are the leaves and the what-you-might-think-are-leaves are flattened stems. Got me?

Utricularia love lots of light and hate nutrients, as they promote algae growth which competes with these plants and can easily overgrow them. Same applies for other competing organisms like Cyanobacter or mosses. Once this is provided they do actually increase in size quickly and flower often. For this Genus the flowers are what is most attractive, which have the beauty of tiny orchids and can be seen for some species year round in large numbers. Generally this genus is only for die-hard collectors of carnivorous plants, who are willing to deal with these small plants.
For the soil we recommend something low nutrient and not too airy like coco peat or real peat. Never fertilize, never let them run dry. Try to put your Utricularia on new medium every year (possibly by only taking the nice "pure" Utri only portions of your pot), that way you can also keep ahead of mosses and other plants competing with it. In fact Utricularia is notorious to appear unexpectedly in the neighboring pots as well, often preferred over the original container :-). The unit for Utricularia is "plug" as we grow them in seedling trays, those have usually 4 cm diameter per plug.
For the aquatic plants we have a small pond with gravel in the bottom, plus frequent addition of some fallen leaves. The tannines of the leaves prevent algae growth. For water only rainwater, aircon runoff, distilled or RO should be used.

U. bifida

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Php 250 for a plug

This plant occurs in several tropical countries and as we discovered also in the southern Philippines. The leaves, which are actually the flattened stems are tiny, maybe 2-3mm and look like grass. If you order this plant, search your box well, otherwise you might throw it as "some soil" away! The big leaves in the pictures are from U. calycifida btw.

U. calycifida

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Php 300 for a plug

This Utricularia has for a change larger 'leaves' that reach up to a few centimeters, which make it look like a giant compared to the others on this page. Same goes for the purple flowers that range around 15cm height. It's from the northern part of South America and expects warm tropical temperatures and a soggy soil. Many people use dried Sphagnum (LFS), but it's also fine in other low nutrient soil. It does not like bright sunlight and will get stunted then. The close-up and microscope images above are also taken from our U. calycidfida.

U. gibba

Out of stock

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This Utricularia floats freely in water without any roots. It's very prolific and might take over your whole pond, it might suffocate other aquatic plants and it might return even after removing, so think twice if you want to grow it :) The bladders are slightly bigger than our terrestrial forms, plus it's easier (not easy!) to observe them. Once it has a certain size, It will put numerous yellow flowers on your pond surface. If you order this plant, search your box well, otherwise you might throw it as "some wet towel" away!

U. longifolia

Out of stock

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One of the larger Utricularia, while the leaves usually don't exceed 20-30 cm, there are reports of up to 145 cm. Looking at the overcrowded pots of some growers I think it is crucial to use trash can sized containers to archive large plants. It originates from Brazil and it is known for its large long lasting flowers. We are still in the early stages of growing it.

U.minutissima

Out of stock

While this is the white flowered form from Gunung Jerai, Malaysia, this species usually has purple flowers and can be found all over South East Asia, including the Philippines, but also China and Northern Australia. It grows at altitudes between 0-2100m. As the name indicates it bears even smaller leaves and flower stalks than other species of the genus. The 'giant' flower in the picture above is around 4mm in the real world :).

U. moniliformis

Out of stock

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Another terrestrial Utricularia that is common all over South East Asia. It can be found as a lithophyte around waterfalls that allow enough sun to enter. It is a very close relative (or maybe it is :) ) to U. striatula. The flower on the picture is slightly over-exposed as it does have some more purple in it. If you order this plant, search your box well, otherwise you might throw it as "some soil" away!

U. warburgii

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Php 100 reduced, we are under attack :)

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Php 300

A terrestrial Utricularia from China, that is very close to U. caerulea. It is a prolific plant with white-purple flowers and thick carpets of short grass like 'leaves'. The flowers have a certain "Elvis" look, don't they? :-)