Bladderwort has small bladders attached to the leaf-like branches, which are alternately arranged.
Bladderwort are submersed free-floating plants. They lack true roots and have thin stems (less than one-sixteenth of an inch thick) ranging in size from a few inches to several feet long. They have leaf-like branches that are divided and fork three to seven times on the ends. Tiny bladders scattered on the branches are transparent and green when young and dark brown or black when mature. They are attached at regular intervals along the linear leaf segments. Because it is a carnivorous plant, bladderwort can survive in low-nutrient environments. The bladders trap and digest tiny aquatic creatures, providing more nutrition for the plant. Prey range in size from one-celled Euglena to organisms the size of mosquito larvae.
Bladderwort flowers have two lips that look like snapdragons and are usually bright yellow (but sometimes lavender, depending on species). Flowers are on long stalks that emerge several inches above the water.
Common throughout the United States
Winter buds, stem fragments