Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Utricularia gibba

Higher Taxonomy
Family: LentibulariaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual, perennial herb, carnivorous, of moist or aquatic habitats. Stem: caudex or stolon, then often with thread-like branches. Leaf: simple, in rosette, or simple or dissected, emerging from caudex or stolon, with minute, carnivorous bladders +- throughout. Inflorescence: raceme or 1-flowered, scapose. Flower: bisexual; calyx lips 2[4], upper 3-lobed, lower 2-lobed, or lips unlobed; corolla 2-lipped, spurred at base, lower lip flat or arched upward, blocking throat or not; stamens 2, epipetalous; ovary superior, chamber 1, placenta generally free-central; stigma unequally 2-lobed, +- sessile. Fruit: capsule, round, 2-valved, circumscissile, or irregularly dehiscent. Seed: generally many, small.
Genera In Family: 3 genera, 330 species: worldwide, especially tropics.
eFlora Treatment Author: Barry A. Rice
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: UtriculariaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Carnivorous by bladders (here treated as modified leaves), into which small organisms are sucked when hairs at opening are triggered [epiphytic]. Stem: submersed or subterranean shoots [rarely caudex]; some aquatic species produce 2 kinds of stems, green (in water or at surface; leaves with flattened or thread-like segments; bladders 0--few) and white (generally buried in substrate; leaves 0; bladders many), the latter not always present in poor collections. Leaf: simple or generally dissected into narrow segments, alternate on stolon, margins often with bristles (visible at 10--30×). Inflorescence: raceme or 1-flowered, emergent; scape slender or wiry, bracts present. Flower: calyx lips 2[4], unlobed; corolla yellow [or not], with red-brown streaks or not, upper lip +- entire, lower entire or 3-lobed, spurred; rarely cleistogamous. Fruit: capsule.
Species In Genus: +- 220 species: worldwide, especially tropics, Australia. Etymology: (Latin: little bag, from bladders) Note: Size variable, often unreliable for identification; distinction between stems, leaves uncertain. Glands inside bladders consist of 2 pairs of oppositely directed arms, angles of divergence between which used (at 150× or more) to identify fresh or pressed specimens.
Reference: Taylor 1989 Kew Bull Add Ser 14:1--724
Utricularia gibba L.
Habit: Loosely rooted (rarely free-floating) aquatic or creeping in mud. Stem: generally of 1 kind, thread-like, with leaves, few bladders throughout; winter buds 0. Leaf: 2--15 mm, generally 2-parted at base, each part forked again or not, bladders 0(2); ultimate segments 2--6 (8), thread-like. Inflorescence: 1--4-flowered; peduncle < 20 cm, < 0.8 mm diam; pedicel erect in fruit. Flower: corolla 6--15(25) mm, lower lip <= upper, spur +- = lower lip, conic. Fruit: laterally 2-valved. Seed: winged. Chromosomes: 2n=28.
Ecology: Shallow water, mud, mat-forming at surface of deep waters or not; Elevation: 10--2300 m. Bioregional Distribution: n&c CA-FP. Flowering Time: Jul--Sep Note: Plants in NCo, GV possibly are not native there, and may have been spread there by horticulturists or agriculture.
Synonyms: Utricularia biflora Lam.; Utricularia exoleta R. Br.; Utricularia fibrosa Walter
Jepson eFlora Author: Barry A. Rice
Reference: Taylor 1989 Kew Bull Add Ser 14:1--724
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Utricularia gibba

botanical illustration including Utricularia gibba


Citation for this treatment: Barry A. Rice 2012, Utricularia gibba, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 19, 2021.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2021, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 19, 2021.

Utricularia gibba
click for enlargement
© 2009 Barry Rice
Utricularia gibba
click for enlargement
© 2006 Barry Rice
Utricularia gibba
click for enlargement
© 2009 Barry Rice
Utricularia gibba
click for enlargement
© 2009 Barry Rice
Utricularia gibba
click for enlargement
© 2009 Barry Rice
Utricularia gibba
click for enlargement
© 2009 Barry Rice

More photos of Utricularia gibba in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Utricularia gibba:
n&c CA-FP.
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


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Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).