Utricularia inaequalis Species Profile

Utricularia inaequalis Species Profile

Utricularia inaequalis is a bladderwort endemic to southwest Western Australia. The species is named after the unequally sized lower and upper corolla lips (inaequalis = unequal).

Utricularia inaequalis has a medium-sized purple bloom that usually grows to around 1-2 cm in width. The lower corolla lip is roughly triangular, with a shallowly pointed centre and edges on either side. The palate region is yellow with shallow ridges. The upper corolla lip has two deeply divided lobes in the shape of ‘bunny ears’ and is bent backwards such that it forms an almost horizontal plane. The spur is thrust forwards with a broad, rounded tip.

The species grows terrestrially in loam or clayey sand in shallowly inundated swamp flats. The species blooms as the water recedes as the weather warms up and the plants become exposed the air. It is distributed on the Swan and Scott Coastal Plains and adjacent ranges.

Utricularia inaequalis is similar to U. petertaylorii, U. violacea and U. paulineae. It shares a deeply lobed upper corolla lip with U. petertaylorii but is mainly distinguished by the roughly triangular profile of its lower corolla lip when viewed from above (the profile of U. petertaylorii is roughly semicircular). It is distinguished from U. paulineae by its deeply lobed upper corolla lip (the upper corolla lip is entire). It is much larger than U. violacea growing 1-2 cm in width (U. violacea is usually less than 1 cm).

U. inaequalis viewed from above. Note the lower corolla lip that is roughly triangular in profile and deeply notched upper corolla lip.
U. inaequalis viewed from the side. Note that the upper corolla lip is bent backwards to form a roughly horizontal plain.
Habitat of U. inaequalis on a receding swamp

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