I know I brought this up once before but took some new pictures over the weekend and felt like typing. I think there are two types of Utricularia purpurea in the Florida panhandle. The usual plants seen have small flowers, fragile brown branches with whorled traps. Then there is this one site on Eglin AFB where larger plants with giant sized flowers can be found. 2 weeks ago Makoto Honda and I found the giant ones at another site on Eglin AFB some 30 miles distant from the other. Last Saturday I took some new pictures of the typical plants that fill the ditches on a backroad in Escambia County, FL west of Pensacola. The "giant" purpureas are definitely different, and I've not seen anything intermediate between the two yet, nor found both at the same site. Both are flowering now.
Ever since I saw some related species in South America, it's occurred to me that this group of plants needs to be revisited here in the USA; I'm convinced that there are at least several different species in this group. The forms of U. purpurea are a little different here in the NJ Pine Barrens. At first, I though that it may just be some geo-type differences, but there are just too many significant and distinct differences in the flowers, traps and whorles. There are fewer differences between U. radiata and U. inflata. - Rich
Last Edit: May 19, 2009 12:59:35 GMT by rsivertsen
... not suffering from insanity, but rather enjoying it actually!
Thanks Brian. I did not do anything with this since the first discovery as only found them at one location but after this second site located I'm thinking of bringing this to the attention of the botanists at FSU Tallahassee. Barry Meyers-Rice showed interest in this plant last year but has not responded since. I agree 100% Rich. At this same site is another Utricularia with yellow flowers that just does not seem to match up with descriptions of known plants in this area.
Randy, have you considered U. striata for your yellow-flowered unknown? See Schnell's Carnivorous Plants of the US and Canada (Second edition), pages 373-375. When I saw your images, that's the first thought that came into my mind. I've seen it in the Green Swamp of NC growing in wet sand, near the water. Just a suggested identification...
U. floridana, U. gibba, and U. striata look very much alike, and it may take digging one up to look at the arrangemen of the bladders and stolens for a more accurate identification.
I stumbled across this link when encountering an aquatic Utric that I thought was U. floridana, which would of been existing way south of it's range. Turns out, it was U. foliosa. The flowers of many of the "yellows" are very similar indeed!
Yeah Brian, thanks. I know that site well. Many of the CP photos are my submissions. Including all the U. floridana. I'm starting to wonder if I know what I'm doing when it comes to identifying Utricularia. I've always identified U. striata as a mid sized semi aquatic with slightly dimorphic branches and the reddish "stripes" in the flowers. But maybe they don't always have these stripes. I am wondering how large U. gibba can be expected to grow in nature. I need Pete Taylor's book. I was out all day today exploring on Eglin AFB and found yet ANOTHER variety of Utricularia purpurea. This one has the larger flowers but not as big as those of the "giants" pictured here. What is most different is the branches are green rather than brown, and they are in full sun. There are more "leaves" than bladders on the branches. They look completely different from the other U. purpurea I've seen. I'll upload the pictures later. Another bladderwort that looks like a mini version of U. floridana was found today in a shallow pond dominated by Hypericum. Either striata or gibba I suppose. who knows.. they were not in flower. I'll have to check on them again in a month or two. Flowering varies site to site. Even in the same species. another pond examined today had typical growth of U. purpurea with the brown whorlled branches but were not in flower, while most other elsewhere are.
Thanks Brian, but I'll have to disagree on that one. Schnell's and other descriptions of U. foliosa show it a free floating aquatic with leafy branching stolons and the flowers are distinctive. Especially the larger lower lip. I've yet to see a plant matching this description. I'm not sure what I found but I need to get back and check it again soon. Hopefully they are still flowering. I need to uproot a complete plant and examine the branches better, which I did not do 3 weeks ago. The Utricularia branches I saw nearby in the water may be different plants. The yellow plants in question are firmly affixed in the peaty muck on the bank. I may go this afternoon but it's a 60 mile round trip and some pretty rough roads.
Here is a photograph of the odd green leafy U. purpurea found yesterday. It's not very clear, but I have more detailed video I will work on later.