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Utricularia subulata L.
Family Lentibulariaceae
Common name: Zig-zag Plant

Utricularia subulata L. APNI*

Description: Small to very small annual terrestrial herb, 2–50 cm high. Rhizoids filiform with short papillose branches, usually less that 1 cm long. Stolons numerous, capillary, branched, to several cm long.

Leaves numerous, petiolate, narrowly linear with apex subacute, single nerved, up to 1 mm wide, c. 2 cm long. Traps numerous, attached to stolons and leaves, stalked, ovate 0.2–0.7 mm long, mouth lateral with two dorsal subulate, sparsely branched appendages.

Inflorescence erect, solitary, simple or branched, 1- to at least 25-flowered, 2–50 cm tall (4–8 cm tall in New South Wales), peduncle terete, filiform, 0.3–0.6 mm thick, usually glaborous throughout. Peduncle scales numerous, similar to bracts but narrower, sometimes ciliate. Bracts circular to transversely elliptic, rounded at each end, basisolute, peltate, amplexicaule, 1–2 mm long. Bracteoles absent. Flowers, with pedicels ascending, capillary, 0.2–1 cm long. Calyx lobes subequal, broadly ovate to circular, convex, 1–1.5 mm long; nerves moderately conspicuous. Corolla 0.5–1 cm long, yellow (chasmogamous), or white to slightly reddish (cleistogamous); lower lip rhombic to broadly cuneate, base with a prominently rounded bilobed swelling, apex deeply 3-lobed; spur subulate, apex acute, rounded or denticulate, slightly shorter or slightly longer than lower lip; upper lip broadly ovate, apex rounded. Staminal filaments ± straight, to c. 1 mm long; anther theca confluent. Ovary globose; style short, stigma lower lip semicircular.

Capsule globose, 1–1.5 mm diam.; walls thin, dehiscing by a ventral ovate pore. Seeds obovoid, c. 0.23 mm long, c. 0.16 mm wide.

Flowering: December – February.

Distribution and occurrence: Pantropical: Australia, native to Queensland and Northern Territory; introduced in New South Wales, Central Coast, Royal National Park and South Coast, Morton National Park, Porters Creek Dam, c.16 km W of Yatte Yattah. The extent of the distribution and habitat preferences of this species are inadequately known, largely because only 17 specimens, held in Australian herbaria, are known.

Within New South Wales, the species occurs in riparian habitats, in small colonies growing in wet sandy soils with Drosera binata, D. pygmaea, D. spatulata, Juncus spp. and Cyperus spp.
NSW subdivisions: *CC, *SC
Other Australian states: Qld N.T.
AVH map***

Text by R. W. Jobson and B. J. Conn
Taxon concept: Jobson, Richard W. and Conn, Barry J. (2012) Utricularia subulata L. (Lentibulariaceae): a new weed record of an Australian native for New South Wales, Australia. Telopea Volume 14: 83-88.(

APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.
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