The genus Utricularia contains the
most species of carnivorous plants, up to 230 species according to some
authorities. The various species can be loosely divided into 3 groups: aquatic,
terrestrial and epiphytic.
The true aquatic species grow as free-floating masses
of thin stems. Terrestrial species are found in bogs or seasonally wet marshes.
Epiphytic species occur in deep rocky seeps, damp mossy trees or even inside
All Utricularia species trap their prey by the same
method. Tiny sacs are scattered along the subterranean portion of the plant, or
throughout the whole plant in aquatic species. Fine hairs on the sacs are
triggered by contact with minuscule insects. This action causes a trap door on
the sac to open suddenly and the insect is sucked inside.
Bladderworts are popular due to the appeal of their
colourful, intricate orchid-like flowers. The foliage of many species also
provides an attractive ground cover in terrariums.