Utricularia aurea is a suspended aquatic bladderwort with a wide distribution across Asia to Australia. In Australia, it inhabits warmer and wetter areas from Western Australia spreading south east towards New South Wales. I observed the species in a dam near Darwin, Northern Territory.
The species is a large plant, with floating stems that reach over 2 meters in length. Whorls of leaves are formed at regular intervals. In the nodes of these leaves emerge the bladder traps. The flowers are borne on thick inflorescences, which are supported by small floats at their base. These flowers are yellow, often with red marks on the palate, and usually have hairs on the outside surface of the petals. The fruit hang downwards and often appear box-shaped at a glance.
U. aurea inhabits deep water habitats such as lakes and dams, where it floats just under the surface. It can grow into large mats that entangle around other aquatic vegetation. The species is most similar to U. australis, but can be distinguished by the presence of float supports (although in practise these are hard to see), and a hairy outer surface of the blooms.