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Horned Bladderwort     Utricularia cornuta

Horned Bladderwort plants grow in very moist soil such as found along the edges of marshes, ponds and lakes. They are found throughout Florida and much of eastern North America and the West Indies.

These plants consist of an erect stem varying in length from 2-12 inches with 1-6 yellow flowers at the top. The flowers are about 0.75 inches wide and each has a prominent spur or ‘horn.’

These plants are sometimes referred to as Naked Bladderwort because it appears to be naked of leaves.  The leaves are actually very small and threadlike; they are found underground at the base of the plant.  

As with all bladderworts, these plants are carnivorous.  Tiny bladders are located along the leaves and root system underground that trap and digest minute invertebrates.  Fluid is pumped out of a bladder. When triggered by an outside prey, a trap door opens and the prey is sucked in and the trap door immediately closes.  Digestive enzymes automatically consume the prey over a period of a few hours or few days depending on its size.

The following images were taken along the shoreline of a pond in Deep Creek in Charlotte County.  I have seen large patches of these flowers in the Babcock-Webb WMA and along the dirt road under the power lines just south of the Zemel Road landfill.

The range distribution maps for the Horned Bladderwort are from the Plants Database of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).