Utricularia Alpina * Carnivorous * Alpine Bladderworts * Very Rare Plant * 10 Seeds
Utricularia alpina, or the Alpine Bladderworts grows mainly as an epiphyte in the wild. Utricularia are found growing in moss, bark, or decaying leaves on cliffs, hillsides, and fog forests in the Caribbean, Central and South America. The plant can reach 40 cm hight. The leaves are elliptical 5 to 20 cm long. The short flowering stalk produces up to four large white flowers with yellow plates up to 4 cm in diameter. It grows year around without visible dormancy. The bladder-trap is unique to the Utricularia, giving them their nickname of Bladderworts. Utricularia has no true root system. They form creeping or floating, thin, hair-like stems that extended away from the main body of the plant. The bladder-traps are held on these stems. Most of the traps are underground and are too small to hand feed. So, it has to catch it's own microscopic prey. Thin, filament-like hairs protrude from the trap door. These serve as guides to send the prey toward the door. These plants use low pressure inside the chamber vs. high pressure outside. When a bug activates the hairs, the door opens quickly, forcing the victim into the low-pressure digestion area. The water is pumped out and the mulcilage seal is re-established. The plant now secrets digestive juices to break down the captured prey and absorb the mineral rich fluid. Trapping usually occurs within 1/50 of a second. It is believed that glands found around the closed entry may also secrete an attractant that may aid in luring prey. Quite easy to grow. Attention : very small seeds!
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