Utricularia beaugleholei subsp. orientalis Species Profile

Utricularia beaugleholei subsp. orientalis Species Profile

A recent taxonomic revision by Jobson (2020) found that the taxon previously referred to as the ‘tuber forming variety of U. dichotoma’ was actually genetically related to U. beaugleholei. This taxon is now called Utricularia beaugleholei subsp. orientalis, with the epithet referring to the relatively eastern distribution of the plants.

Oblique view of U. beaugleholei subsp. orientalis. Note the palate, which features prominant and centrally crowded yellow ridges, flanked by purple ridges. The lower corolla lip is very ‘geometric’ with strong ridges and angles on its surface.
Side view of bloom. Note that the corolla spur is pointed and generally longer than the lower corolla lip.

Within its range, the morphology of U. beaugleholei subsp. orientalis does vary and the descriptions here refer to plants as they appear in the north-east of Victoria. The taxon is best identified through the corolla spur, which is slender and pointed, and usually slightly longer than the lower corolla lip. The palate features a tight cluster of very defined yellow ridges, flanked by sets of purple ridges. Overall, the lower corolla tends to be rather ‘geometric’ in appearance, with roughly transitioning angles and bumps especially near the palate. The upper corolla lip is fairly short in proportion, and sometimes features faint vertical nerves (a diagnostic feature in the paper, but personally I’ve seen that they are not always present).

A light-palate coloured specimen. Note the faint nerves on the upper corolla (although in some specimens these are absent).

The leaves of the taxon are small and green, with the portions above the soil surface being roundish and scale-like. As its environment dries out, the species persists as a perennial through the formation of resting tubers.

The leaves of Utricularia beaugleholei subsp. orientalis

U. beaugleholei subsp. orientalis is restricted to inland regions of Victoria and NSW, growing generally in lowland to elevated plains. It inhabits seasonally wet habitats such as the sandy clay banks of seasonally wet creeks, springs and farm dam soaks.

The species generally grows alongside seasonal creeks amongst inland plains.

Within its range, U. beaugleholei subsp. orientalis is morphologically distinguished from U. dichotoma by the length of the spur which is longer than the lower corolla lip (those of U. dichotoma are shorter) and bracts which are non gibbous at the base (those of U. dichotoma are gibbous or spurred). It is distinguished from U. beaugleholei subsp. beaugleholei by its lower corolla lip, which is moderately flared and has a tight clustering of very prominent yellow ridges at the palate (that of subsp. beaugleholei is widely flared and features 4-11 less prominent and evenly spaced yellow ridges).

Top view of U. beaugleholei subsp. orientalis.
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