Plants of
South Australia
Utricularia australis
Yellow Bladderwort
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Regional Species Conservation Assessments per IBRA subregion.
Least concern
Near threatened
Critically endangered
Data deficient
Coober Pedy
Mount Gambier
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Botanical art

Kath Alcock paintings: 9

Prior names

Utricularia flexuosa


Utricularia from the Latin 'utriculus' meaning a small bottle or bladder; referring to a small insect trapping sac attached to the underground leaves. Australis means of or from the south; referring to the distribution of the species in the southern hemisphere.

Distribution and status

Found mainly in the lower South-east in South Australia, with a few collection from the northern Flinders Ranges and northern Mount Lofty Ranges, growing in still slowly flowing water. Also found in all states and New Zealand, New Guinea, Asia, Europe and Africa. Native. Rare in South Australia. rare in Western Australia, Northern territory and Tasmania. Common in the other states.
Herbarium regions: Flinders Ranges, Northern Lofty, South Eastern
NRM regions: Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges, South Australian Arid Lands, South East
AVH map: SA distribution map (external link)

Plant description

Suspended aquatic perennial with branched stolons to 50 cm long. Leaves alternate to 4 cm long, divided from base into 2 equal capillary segments, these again repeatedly divided. Traps ovoid to 2.5 mm long. Inflorescence erect above water, 30 cm long with 4 to 10 yellow with reddish-brown lines and spots on lower lip flowers. Flowering between December and April. Fruits are brown globular capsules. Seeds are tiny brown ovoid capsule to 0.5 mm long and 0.3 mm wide, with a thin mesh-like covering.

Seed collection and propagation

Collect seeds between January and March. Collect mature capsules, those turning brown, fat and containing brown seeds. Capsule are very difficult to find unless plants are marked when in flowers. Place the capsules in a tray and leave to dry for two weeks. Then rub the capsules gently by hand to dislodge the seeds. Use a sieve to separate the unwanted material. Store the seeds with a desiccant such as dried silica beads or dry rice, in an air tight container in a cool and dry place.