Utricularia livida


Utricularia: a small bladder

Common Name(s)



Utricularia livida E. Mey



Brief Description

Minute herb with wedge-shaped leaves up to 7 mm long growing from underground parts, flower stalks much larger, usually around 10 cm long, with 2 to 8 oblong violet or white flowers up to 1.5 cm long.

Flora Category

Vascular - Exotic

NVS Species Code


The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.

Structural Class

Dicotyledonous Herbs other than Composites


Only known from two sites in Waitakere District, Auckland.


Dune slack wetlands amongst oioi (Apodasmia similis).


Annual or perennial, terrestrial. Rhizoids few to many, capillary, simple. Stolons up to 5.0 cm long, few, apillary, much branched. Leaves few, usually one at peduncle base, others scattered on stolons; lamina 0.2-7.0 × 1.0-6.0 mm, narrowly cuneate or obovate to reniform, petiolate. Traps numerous on rhizoids, stolons, and leaves, 1-2 mm long, ovoid, stalked. Inflorescences 2-80 cm long, erect, solitary, simple or branched above; peduncle 0.5-2.0 mm diam., terete, glabrous. Bracts c. 1 mm long, basifixed, ovate to ovate-deltoid. Flowers 2-8, distant to congested; pedicels 1-3 mm long, terete, erect in flower, spreading or reflexed in fruit; calyx 2-5 mm long; corolla 5-15 mm long, violet, lower floral limb transversely wrinkled; filaments c. 1 mm long; ovary globose; style cylindrical, short. Capsule c. 2 mm long, globose, dehiscing by longitudinal slits. Apparently seed is not produced in naturalised populations.

Similar Taxa

Other so-called 'terrestrial' Utricularia species have similar leaves, although the native U. dichotoma and U. delicatula do not have wedge-shaped leaves. Two other introduced species U. sandersonii and U. arenaria have a spur that extends well beyond the lower lip of the flower.



Flower Colours

Violet / Purple,White



Year Naturalised



Tropical and southern Africa, Madagascar and Mexico.

Reason for Introduction

Ornamental plant

Control Techniques

Manual removal.

Life Cycle and Dispersal

Deliberate planting and water borne dispersal of rhizome fragments


Factsheet prepared by Paul Champion and Deborah Hofstra (NIWA).

References and further reading

Heenan, P.B.; de Lange, P.J.; Cameron, E.K.; Ogle, C.C.; Champion, P.D. (2004). Checklist of dicotyledons, gymnosperms and pteridophytes naturalised or casual in New Zealand: additional records 2001-2003. New Zealand Journal of Botany 42: 797-814.


This page last updated on 21 Aug 2013