Utricularia subulata is bladderwort with a pantropical distribution. Whilst the weedy form is a common ‘hitchhiker’ in many carnivorous plant collections, the Australian form is relatively rare in the wild.
U. subulata has yellow flowers. The center of the flower is strongly bulbous. The lower corolla lip is divided into three main lobes at the edges. The upper corolla lip is upright and cupped. The spur is pointed at the end and more or less thrust horizontally under the lower corolla lip. Viewed from the side, the flower is elongated lengthwise. Flowers are usually solitary or two flowered.
In Australia, the species is found on wet sand at the edge of swamps, seasonally wet heathlands and on seepages in tropical QLD and NT. The plants here usually occur singly or in small groups within vast suitable habitat. There appears to be several undescribed taxa that are closely related to the species. Some of these may represent underformed and self-pollinating ‘cleistogamous’ blooms, which is commonly observed in the weedy form in cultivation. Another taxon which is common across Cape York seems to be completely cleistogamous.