Utricularia gibba L.

Floating Bladderwort

Sp. Pl. 18 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native (naturalised in part(s) of state)

Threat status:Victoria: vulnerable (v)

Affixed or suspended aquatic annual or perennial with branched filiform stolons to c. 20 cm long. Leaves alternate, 4-8(-15) mm long, divided from base into 2 (rarely only 1), c. equal capillary segments, these occasionally sparsely dichotomously divided. Traps ovoid, 1-2.5 mm long, mouth lateral. Raceme usually emergent, erect, mostly 1-20 cm long, 1-12-flowered; sterile bract usually 1, in upper half of peduncle, cuneate, 1-1.2 mm long; fertile bracts basifixed, c. 1 mm long; bracteoles absent; calyx-lobes subequal, broad-ovate to orbicular, 1-3.5 mm long. Corolla 4-25 mm long, yellow; upper lip broad-ovate to suborbicular; lower lip slightly smaller, orbicular to transversely elliptic, palate with bilobed basal swelling, often with reddish-brown lines; spur narrowly conical or cylindric, typically longer than lower lip. Capsule globose, 2-3 mm diam.; seeds lenticular, 0.8-1 mm diam. Flowers Nov.-Jun. Flowers Nov.–Jun.

EGL, GipP, HSF, *Strz. Also NT, Qld, NSW. New Zealand, New Caledonia, Asia, Africa, North and South America, and a common weed of aquaria and botanic gardens throughout the world. Occurs in fresh-water swamps and wetlands at low elevations. At least some collections from Victoria such as the single collection from East Gippsland inconsistent with the continuous distribution of this species across northern and eastern Australia, suggesting that these plants may be native in Victoria. However, collections from urban areas around Melbourne are believed to be introduced.

Source: Jeanes, J.A. (1999). Lentibulariaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 4, Cornaceae to Asteraceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2019-05-10

Lowrie, A. (2013). Carnivorous Plants of Australia: Magnum Opus vol. 3, Redfern Natural History Productions Ltd., Poole, Dorset, England.

Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Asteranae
order Lamiales
genus Utricularia
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Utricularia gibba in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Utricularia gibba in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Gippsland Plain present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Strzelecki Ranges present introduced

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory