Utricularia biloba Species Profile

Utricularia biloba Species Profile

Utricularia biloba is an affixed aquatic bladderwort native to the east coast of Australia. The species is named for its lower corolla lip, which is split into two lobes.

Utricularia biloba in Sydney. Note the two-lobed lower petal, overhanging upper petal and yellow and white streaks near the palate.

The flowers of the species are moderately sized and coloured purple. The palate region of the lower corolla lip is bulbous and features yellow markings near the middle. In some blooms, white streaks extend downwards from the yellow markings. The upper corolla lip is large and overhangs the palate. The corolla spur is broad and cream in colouration, with purple marks down the side. Under some conditions, the species is known to form intricate branched stolons but I observed them to be thin and grassy.

Lateral view of U. biloba. Note the broad corolla spur and overhanging upper petal.

U. biloba grows in sandy substrates in swamps, creeks and drainage lines within wallum heathland. The species has a patchy distribution in NSW, extending from Sydney towards SE Queensland. Towards the north of its distribution, the plants are more common as its wallum habitat is more widespread.

The leaves of U. biloba in emergent habitats. Under these growing conditions, the leaves are long and grassy.
The leaves when the plant grows fully submerged

Within it’s range, the species is easily distinguishable from other Utricularia by its two-lobed lower corolla lip. This trait is shared by the two other members of Utricularia sect. Nelipus – U. limosa and U. leptoplectra.

Utricularia biloba in Sydney. The plants grew at the edges of a sandy swamp in coastal heathland.
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