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Vascular Plants of California
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Utricularia minor

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.
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 minor L.
Habit: Rooted or floating aquatic. Stem: slender, weakly to strongly of 2 kinds, some with many leaves, some bladders, others with 0--few leaves, +- many bladders; winter buds glabrous. Leaf: 2--15 mm, 3-parted at base, variously dissected above; ultimate segments 7--22, +- thread-like to flattened, margin bristles 0 or microscopic. Inflorescence: 2--6-flowered; peduncle 3--25 cm, wiry, 0.4--0.8 mm diam; pedicel recurved in fruit. Flower: corolla 6--8 mm; lower lip > 2 × upper, 2 × sac-like spur. Fruit: circumscissile. Seed: 4--6-sided, +- unwinged. Chromosomes: 2n=+-40.
Ecology: Shallow (generally < 30 cm) acidic waters; Elevation: 800--2900 m. Bioregional Distribution: CaRH, SNH, MP; Distribution Outside California: Alaska, northern United States, Canada; circumboreal. Flowering Time: Jun--Sep
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)
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

Previous taxon: Utricularia macrorhiza
Next taxon: Utricularia ochroleuca

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Botanical illustration including Utricularia minor

botanical illustration including Utricularia minor

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Citation for this treatment: Barry A. Rice 2012, Utricularia minor, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 25, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 25, 2024.

Utricularia minor
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©2012 Barry Rice
Utricularia minor
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©2009 Barry Rice
Utricularia minor
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©2009 Barry Rice
Utricularia minor
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©2007 George W. Hartwell
Utricularia minor
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©2007 George W. Hartwell

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in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Utricularia minor:
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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).


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).