Utricularia bifida Species Profile

Utricularia bifida Species Profile

Utricularia bifida is a terrestrial bladderwort native to Asia and tropical Australia. The species is probably named for its divided lower corolla lip.

U. bifida produces small flowers that are coloured yellow. The lower corolla lip features a large helmet-like bulb at its center, and is fringed at the base by a main lobe on either side. The spur is pointy and slightly angled backwards. The upper corolla lip is medium in size. After pollination, the fruit is enclosed by the pouch-like calyx lobes. The flowers are well spaced along the peduncle. The plants are short, with flowers elevated a few centimetres off the ground.

I’ve observed U. bifida growing in Hong Kong, where it occupies permanent seepages emanating from slopes. The species is often sympatric with Drosera spatulata. In Australia, the species is common in tropical far north Queensland, where it grows on seasonally wet sand, creeklines and seepages in melaleuca swampland and heathlands.

U. bifida is similar to many other terrestrial yellow-flowered bladderworts. It is chiefly identified by its bulbous flower centers, short scapes, and pouch-like calyx lobes that enclose the fruit. This is contrasted with the tall flower scapes of U. odorata & U. chrysantha.

Close up for flower from Cape York
Utricularia bifida by a creek on Cape York
Plants from Far North Queensland
U. bifida in Hong Kong. Note the bulbous lower corolla lip and fruit that is enclosed in a pouch
The flowers are short. Plants in Hong Kong.
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