Bladderwort and Butterwort Family

Annual and perennial carnivorous herbs, sometimes free-floating or epiphytic. Leaves variable, often simple, in basal rosettes and covered with glandular hairs (Pinguicula) or modified in part to form animal-trapping bladders (Utricularia); stipules absent. Flowers bisexual, 2-lipped, solitary and terminal or in bracted clusters, the lower lip often spurred. Sepals 4-5, united. Petals 5, united to form a basal tube. Stamens 2, attached in the petal tube. Ovary superior. Carpels 2, united but forming 1 chamber with free-central ovule placentation. Fruit a dehiscent capsule with 2 or 4 valves.

This family is closely related to the Scrophulariaceae but is carnivorous and has ovaries with free-central placentation.

Utricularia, Bladderwort, is occasionally grown, but mostly by carnivorous plant enthusiasts.

The genus is characterised by the small bladders with a trapping mechanism for small animals; it has become weedy in rice fields.

Plants of wet places with spurred flowers and inrolled or bladder-bearing leaves, often glandular.

Taylor (1989).

4 genera and about 245 species of carnivorous plants that grow in wet places. Australia has 57 species of Utricularia.

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Lentibulariaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 4. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 3. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Asteranae
order      Lamiales
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
genus        Pinguicula L.