Utricularia multifida, also named Polypompholyx multifida, is an annual and terrestrial plant, found growing in wet sandy ground in swamps and rocky hillsides and open forests. It can be perennial in good conditions. Natif of Western Australia, at low altitude.
The leaves are ovale, 1 cm long and of a light green. The tall pedoncule can bear up to 8 pink flowers and height 23 cm tall. They are generally grown for their flowers.
This carnivorous is growing in Winter in Australia, at the end of the dry season. Polypompholyx is an annual and must be sown each year. It will not self-pollinate, and so should be pollinated by hand to insure seed production.
The bladder-trap is unique to the Utricularia, giving them their nickname of Bladderwort. 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. 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.
Hardiness zone 11, (4øC/40øF) in Winter. Utricularia multifida, favour sunny locations in permanently wet open ground. This terrestrial Utricularia usually isn't very picky about soil. In the wild, species can be found in pure sand, peaty sand and laterite soils. In captivity, they grow well in pure sphagnum moss as well as in a standard 1:1 peat moss/and mix. Like other carnivorous plants, they do require pure water and can be killed by fertilizer in the soil. In nature, water levels are usually near or even a little above the soil surface. Utricularia prefer frequent overhead watering, at least once a day in Summer, and once every few days in Winter.