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New Forest Bladderwort

Utricularia bremii

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Lentibulariaceae (Bladderwort)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
40 centimetres tall
Ditches, fens, ponds, water, wetland.

Yellow, 2 petals
2-lipped. The airborne flowers appear on stalked, leafless stems. The flowers of New Forest Bladderwort have a broad, flat lip.
The fruit is a capsule.
A carnivorous aquatic plant whose leaves are comprised of numerous thread-like segments. Its minute bristles and small bladders trap insects as a means of obtaining food. In autumn, the bladders fill with water and cause the plant to sink to the bottom. In the British Isles, this species only occurs within the New Forest.
Other Names:
Brem's Bladderwort.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Utricularia bremii, also known as Brem's bladderwort, is a small, carnivorous aquatic plant that is native to North and Central America. It is a member of the Lentibulariaceae family and is known for its small, bladder-like structures that are used to trap and digest small aquatic animals, such as water fleas and protozoa. The plant has thin, delicate stems and small, yellow or purple flowers that are borne on long stalks above the water surface. It is a popular plant for aquaria and is often used in naturalized ponds or water gardens. U. bremii is a fast-growing plant that is easy to care for and is tolerant of a wide range of water conditions. It prefers full sun and can tolerate a wide range of pH levels. It is important to note that U. bremii is a protected species in some areas and may not be collected or removed from the wild without permission.


New Forest Bladderwort, also known as Utricularia bremii, is a species of carnivorous plant that is native to the UK and can be found in damp habitats such as bogs and fens. The plant belongs to the genus Utricularia and is part of the bladderwort family, which is known for its unique bladder-like structures that are used to trap insects and other small prey.

The plant has delicate, yellow flowers that bloom in the summer, and leaves that float on the surface of the water. It grows to a height of about 30cm and has a sprawling habit, spreading out across the water's surface. The leaves are lance-shaped and bright green, and the stems are slender and delicate.

One of the most interesting features of New Forest Bladderwort is its carnivorous nature. The plant has bladder-like structures on its stems that are used to trap small aquatic insects, such as midges and mosquitoes, as well as small crustaceans. When an insect touches a hair on the bladder, it triggers the opening of the bladder, which creates a vacuum and sucks the insect inside. The bladder then closes, sealing the insect inside.

The plant has adapted to growing in nutrient-poor habitats by relying on its carnivorous lifestyle to obtain nutrients. By consuming insects, the plant is able to obtain nitrogen and other essential minerals that it would otherwise struggle to find in the water-logged soil.

Despite its unique and fascinating biology, New Forest Bladderwort is considered a threatened species in the UK due to habitat loss and degradation. The plant requires specific growing conditions, such as damp, nutrient-poor habitats, and is sensitive to water level changes and disturbance. Conservation efforts are underway to protect the species and its habitat, including the creation of new wetlands and the restoration of degraded habitats.

In addition to its ecological importance, Utricularia bremii also has potential as a bioindicator species, as its presence or absence in a wetland can provide information about the health and quality of the habitat. For example, the presence of New Forest Bladderwort can indicate that the habitat is not being impacted by pollutants or changes in water quality.

Furthermore, bladderworts in general are of interest to scientists due to the remarkable speed at which their bladders can open and close. The bladders can open and close in less than a millisecond, which is faster than any known animal movement. This rapid movement has been the subject of numerous studies, and scientists hope to learn more about how it works and how it can be applied to other fields.

In terms of horticulture, New Forest Bladderwort can be grown in an aquarium or pond, providing that the conditions are right. The plant prefers still or slow-moving water, with a depth of up to 30cm. It is important to keep the water free of pollutants, such as chemicals, as the plant is sensitive to water quality. The plant is also sensitive to disturbance, so it is best to avoid planting it in areas where there is a lot of foot traffic or activity.

Additionally, it is also important to note that New Forest Bladderwort is not the only species of bladderwort. In fact, there are over 220 species of bladderwort that can be found all over the world, from the Arctic to the tropics. Each species has its own unique characteristics and adaptations, making the genus Utricularia one of the most diverse and interesting groups of carnivorous plants.

Bladderworts have been the subject of scientific study for over 300 years, and scientists are still discovering new things about these fascinating plants. For example, recent research has revealed that some species of bladderwort have the ability to photosynthesize, which means they can produce their own food through photosynthesis in addition to consuming insects. This is a remarkable adaptation that has allowed bladderworts to colonize a wide range of habitats and environments.

In terms of conservation, it is important to protect the habitats of bladderwort species, including New Forest Bladderwort. Wetlands are some of the most threatened habitats in the world, and many species of bladderwort are highly specialized and require specific growing conditions. The loss of wetlands to development, agriculture, and other human activities has put many species of bladderwort at risk of extinction.

Furthermore, Utricularia bremii is also an important species for the study of plant evolution. Bladderworts are one of the most ancient groups of carnivorous plants, and scientists believe that their evolutionary history dates back over 60 million years. This makes bladderworts an important link between the early evolution of carnivorous plants and more recent groups such as Venus flytraps and pitcher plants.

The unique adaptations of bladderworts, such as their rapid bladder movements and their ability to photosynthesize, have also made them a subject of interest for scientists studying plant physiology and biochemistry. The bladders of bladderworts contain specialized cells that are involved in the rapid movement of the bladders, and scientists are still working to understand the complex processes involved.

In terms of horticulture, growing New Forest Bladderwort can be a fun and rewarding experience for those interested in carnivorous plants. The plant can be propagated through division, which involves separating the stems and planting them in separate containers. It is also possible to grow bladderworts from seed, although this can be a slower process as the seeds are small and require specific growing conditions to germinate.

In conclusion, Utricularia bremii is not only a beautiful and fascinating species in its own right, but it is also an important species for the study of plant evolution, physiology, and biochemistry. Whether you are a scientist, gardener, or simply someone who loves nature, New Forest Bladderwort is sure to inspire and captivate you with its unique and remarkable adaptations.