Bladderwort Facts

Bladderwort Facts
Bladderwort is type of carnivorous plant that belongs to the bladderwort family. There are 233 species of bladderwort that can be found on all continents, except on the Antarctica. South America and Australia are home of the majority of species of bladderwort. 80% of bladderwort species live on the solid ground (terrestrial plants). Remaining 20% of bladderwort are aquatic (live in the water). Bladderwort can be found in the streams, lakes and in the flooded areas. Some species of bladderwort are classified as invasive because of their ability to quickly colonize new areas. Bladderwort is cultivated in ornamental purposes in aquariums, pots and terrariums.
Interesting Bladderwort Facts:
Bladderwort has long, horizontal stem that can reach 8 to 80 inches in length and 4 to 10 inches in height. Aquatic species often form dense mats below the surface of the water.
Bladderwort lacks root. Stem either floats freely on the surface of the water or lays flat on the mud.
Bladderwort has simple or finely divided leaves, arranged alternately or in whorls on the stem. They can be dark green, reddish or brown colored.
Leaves of bladderwort bear small, transparent or dark-colored sacs, called bladders. They are designed for catching and digestion of small animals such as flies, larvae of various insects and worms.
Bladderwort actively pumps water out of the bladders and creates vacuum inside each trap. Bladder has flexible "doors" equipped with bristles on the surface. When small animals get in touch with bristles, trap automatically opens and "ingests" water with prey (vacuum induces suction of water)
Bladderwort captures animals in 1/35 part of second. After 15 to 35 minutes, trap can be re-used. Stem is covered with hundreds of traps. Aquatic species have larger traps.
Unusual diet compensates lack of root and inability of bladderwort to obtain nitrogen and phosphorus from the soil. It also ensures survival in areas poor in nutrients.
Scientists believe that bladderworts live in symbiosis with microorganisms which attract prey and facilitate digestion (provide enzymes) of small animals.
Bladderwort develops lip-shaped flowers arranged in racemes on top of the flowering stem. They are usually yellow colored and positioned above the surface of the water. Flowers contain both types of reproductive organs (perfect flowers).
Bladderwort blooms from July to August and attracts insects. Self-pollination is normal part of reproductive cycle of some species of bladderwort.
Fruit of bladderwort is spherical capsule filled with numerous small seed.
Bladderwort propagates via seed and division of the stem.
Bladderwort is not source of food for other animals, but it provides shelter for numerous aquatic creatures.
People cultivate bladderworts because of their ornamental flowers.
Depending on the species, bladderwort grows as annual (lifespan: one year) or perennial (lifespan: more than 2 years) plant.

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