Utricularia purpurea Walt.

eastern purple bladderwort

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Eastern purple bladderwort is found in shallow water of lakes and ponds in all New England states. It is a rootless, free-floating plant, and gets its name from the purple flower that is held above the water surface on a stout stalk. Its bladders are located at the tips of the leafy branches.

Habitat

Lacustrine (in lakes or ponds)

Characteristics

Habitat
aquatic
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
Leaf position
the leaves are all submerged underwater
Leaf arrangement
whorled: there are three or more leaves per node along the stem
Petal or sepal number
  • there are five petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower
  • there are two petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower
Petal color
  • purple
  • red
Specific leaf type
  • the leaf is divided into two equal parts which in turn are divided into two further parts; each of these parts are divided and each of these may be further divided
  • the leaf is divided into two equal parts, with five or more levels of division
  • the leaf is divided into two equal parts; these parts may also be divided into two further parts
Floating leaf shape
NA
Fruit type (general)
the fruit is dry and splits open when ripe
Show All Characteristics
  • Flowers
    Anther color
    there is a noticeable pink, reddish or purplish tint to the anthers
    Carpels fused
    the carpels are fused to one another
    Flower lower lip length
    4–10 mm
    Flower number
    1–4
    Flower position
    the flowers are above the surface of the water
    Flower symmetry
    there is only one way to evenly divide the flower (the flower is bilaterally symmetrical)
    Inflorescence type
    • the inflorescence has only one flower on it
    • the inflorescence is a raceme (a long unbranched stem with stalked flowers growing along it)
    Length of peduncle
    20–100 mm
    Nectar spur
    the flower has nectar spurs
    Number of carpels
    2
    Ovary position
    the sepals and/or petals are attached below the ovary
    Palate on corolla
    yes
    Petal and sepal arrangement
    the flower includes two cycles of petal- or sepal-like structures
    Petal appearance
    the petals are thin and delicate, and pigmented (colored other than green or brown)
    Petal color
    • purple
    • red
    Petal fringed edges
    the petals are not fringed
    Petal fusion
    the perianth parts are fused to form a tube, cup, or bell shape
    Petal hairs on inner/upper surface
    there are no hairs on the inner/upper petal surface
    Petal length
    10 mm
    Petal number
    2–5
    Petal or sepal number
    • there are five petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower
    • there are two petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower
    Pistil number
    1
    Sepal appearance
    the sepals resemble leaves in color and texture
    Sepal number
    2
    Sepals fused only to sepals
    the sepals are separate from one another
    Spur length
    2–5 mm
    Stamen number
    1 or 2
    Stamen position relative to petals
    NA
    Stamens fused
    the stamens are not fused to one another
    Stamens fused to petals
    the stamens are fused near the bases of the petals or tepals
    Style length
    At least 0 mm
    Style number
    0–1
  • Fruits or seeds
    Fruit type (general)
    the fruit is dry and splits open when ripe
    Fruit type (specific)
    the fruit is a capsule (splits along two or more seams, apical teeth or pores when dry, to release two or more seeds)
  • Glands or sap
    Oil glands on nodes
    none of the nodes have oil glands
    Sap
    the sap is clear and watery
  • Growth form
    Lifespan
    • the plant lives more than two years
    • the plant lives only a single year or less
    Root septa
    the roots do not have transverse septa
    Roots floating in water
    there are no clusters of roots floating in the water
    Turions
    the plant has turions
    Underground organs
    NA
  • Leaves
    Bract position (Sparganium)
    NA
    Bract relative length
    At least 1379 mm
    Bracts
    the flowers or their pedicels have bracts at their bases
    Floating leaf basal lobes
    NA
    Floating leaf blade width
    0 mm
    Floating leaf length
    0 mm
    Floating leaf shape
    NA
    Floating leaf tip
    NA
    Floral bract form
    the bracts are much more lobed, or much less lobed, than the foliage leaves
    Leaf arrangement
    whorled: there are three or more leaves per node along the stem
    Leaf blade veins
    the lateral veins radiate from the base and continue to spread away from the centerline of the leaf, or branch off the central vein at intervals
    Leaf position
    the leaves are all submerged underwater
    Leaf special features
    the leaves have bladder-like traps
    Leaf-like branch segments
    0
    Leaf-like branch shape
    the leaf-like branches are round
    Specific leaf type
    • the leaf is divided into two equal parts which in turn are divided into two further parts; each of these parts are divided and each of these may be further divided
    • the leaf is divided into two equal parts, with five or more levels of division
    • the leaf is divided into two equal parts; these parts may also be divided into two further parts
    Staminate bract edge (Myriophyllum)
    NA
    Stipule appearance
    NA
    Stipule fused to leaf
    NA
    Stipules
    there are no stipules on the plant
    Stipules fused around stem
    NA
    Underwater leaf air passage number
    At least 1439
    Underwater leaf air passage relative width
    At least 4336
    Underwater leaf air passage row number
    0
    Underwater leaf blade edges
    the underwater leaf has smooth edges, without teeth
    Underwater leaf blade shape
    • NA
    • the underwater leaf blade is triangular, with the stalk or attachment point on one of the sides
    Underwater leaf blade veins
    1–3
    Underwater leaf stalk
    yes
    Underwater leaf tip shape
    the tip of the underwater leaf is acute (sharply pointed)
    Veins in floating leaf
    0
  • Place
    Habitat
    aquatic
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    in lakes or ponds
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Flowering stem growth form
    the flowering stem is upright

Wetland Status

Occurs only in wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: OBL)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
present
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)
Vermont
uncommon (S-rank: S3)

Native to North America?

Yes

Synonyms

  • Vesiculina purpurea (Walt.) Raf.

Genus

Utricularia

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

7.  Utricularia purpurea Walt. N

eastern purple bladderwort. Vesiculina purpurea (Walt.) Raf. • CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT; limited in VT to the northeastern portion of the state. Shallow water of lakes and ponds.