Longstreet Highroad Guide to the Chesapeake Bay
By Deane Winegar
Most bladderworts are carnivorous herbs of bogs and marshes with a marvelous adaptation for survival in the form of tiny bladders attached to the roots. Larvae, fry, crustaceans, and other minute life forms in the water are sucked in when they touch the trigger-like flagella at the edge of the bladder, causing the bladder to suddenly expand, creating a vacuum. Once inside, the plant secretes enzymes that digest the prey. Above ground, the two-lipped flowers resemble snapdragon blossoms. The reversed bladderwort (Utricularia resupinata) of the Nanticoke watershed has purplish flowers. Other varieties sport blossoms of yellow, blue, pink, or red.
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