plant Easy level

Utricularia gibba L.

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Humped Bladderwort

Utricularia gibba is a carnivorous aquatic plant, typical of tropical and sub-tropical climates. This plant is native to Colombia but, nowadays, it is present almost worldwide, except for Antartica.

The Humped Bladderwort is a small size, mat producing, perennial, aquatic bladderwort with bright yellow summer flowers. It grows floating in boggy waters with no roots.  It is prolific and can form large, dense, floating mats.  Its leaves are finely divided, and interspersed with small, scattered bladders, which turn dark from devouring infusoria. It prefers dark, tea colored, boggy waters rich in tannins.  It does best in full sun, growing under and among emergent aquatic plants, such as water lilies, frogbit and pickerel weed. Its flowers reach above the water from early spring to mid summer.

Native to: Alabama, Algeria, Angola, Argentina Northeast, Argentina Northwest, Arkansas, Assam, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belize, Bolivia, Borneo, Botswana, Brazil North, Brazil Northeast, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast, Brazil West-Central, British Columbia, Burkina, Cameroon, Cape Provinces, Caroline Is., Central African Repu, Chad, China South-Central, China Southeast, Colombia, Congo, Connecticut, Costa Rica, Cuba, Delaware, District of Columbia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Florida, Free State, French Guiana, Gabon, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Hainan, Haiti, Hawaii, Honduras, Idaho, Illinois, India, Indiana, Iowa, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Jawa, Kansas, Kentucky, Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Laos, Leeward Is., Liberia, Libya, Louisiana, Madagascar, Maine, Malaya, Mali, Manitoba, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mauritius, Mexico Central, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Northwest, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, New Brunswick, New Caledonia, New Guinea, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New South Wales, New York, Nicaragua, Nicobar Is., Niger, Nigeria, North Carolina, Northern Provinces, Northern Territory, Nova Scotia, Ohio, Ontario, Oregon, Palestine, Panamá, Paraguay, Pennsylvania, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Queensland, Québec, Rhode I., Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Carolina, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Suriname, Taiwan, Tanzania, Tennessee, Texas, Thailand, Trinidad-Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vermont, Vietnam, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Western Australia, Windward Is., Wisconsin, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

Introduced into: Great Britain, Hungary, New Zealand North.

Submitted by
Heiko Bleher
-12.7786970, 132.7563324
Geographical region
Drainage Basin
Katherine River
River catchment
Water body type
Water body name
Water body part
Water body course
Lower course
Water body: tributary of
Tributary name
Type locality
Conservation status/IUCN Red List
Least Concern (LC)
Listed in CITES


Water Chemistry

Water information

Water type
Fresh water
Water color
Clear water
Water transparency
Concentration of sediments
Water temperature
12-18 °C
Water flow/curent

Chemical parameters

Dissolved Oxygen


Plant form
Plant type
Plant size
20 cm
Plant growth rate
Plant light demand
Aquarium equipment

Utricularia gibba needs good lighting, thus the aquarium should be provided with a good lighting system.

Plant care

Utricularia gibba is a small to medium-sized plant and it can be either rooted to the substrate of shallow waters or free-floating.  It grows in ponds and lakes or shallow waters, such as in ditches, pools, bogs, swamps, and marshes that may be still or slowly flowing. It grows in typically nutrient-poor water, as it satisfies its nutrient requirements by capturing and digesting small invertebrates.

This carnivorous plant is one of the easier aquatic bladderworts to grow. In aquaria, it can be grown on the water surface.

Water care

Utricularia gibba should be grown in warm water. The pH value should be kept from slightly acidic to neutral.


Comment by the expert

Thank you Boaz Ng, a carnivorous plant enthusiast from Sydney, for the contribution to BAP. Boaz Ng runs the Fierce Flora, which documents carnivorous plants through species profiles, habitats, expedition reports, photography, time-lapse videos, and cultivation notes. It focuses on contextualising these amazing plants in their natural habitats.