Information on Lesser Bladderwort

Common Name: Lesser Bladderwort
Scientific Name: Utricularia minor
Irish Name: Lus borraigh beag
Family Group: Lentibulariaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Lesser Bladderwort is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.


One of our carnivorous species, Bladderworts speckle the surface of bog pools, ditches, peat cuttings and other nutrient-poor muddy ground. This species, Lesser Bladderwort, is a difficult plant to find as it inhabits raised bogs and places where it is quite difficult to get to. Its flowers are pale yellow (6-8mm long) and are borne in loose clusters of 2-6 on slender stems. The two-lipped flowers have very small, blunt 1-2mm spurs; the edges of the lower lip are turned downwards. They bloom in June and July. The leaves are without bristles and finely divided into thread-like, untoothed segments. This is a native aquatic which is generally found locally in most areas apart from the east of Ireland.

I saw this species in Newcastle, Co Wicklow in 1988 and then not again until July 2014 in Ballycroy National Park, Co Mayo when Bríd Colhoun showed it to me. I am very grateful to her for her help and information and for being so generous with her time and knowledge. I photographed the species at that time.

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Bladderwort, Lesser
Bladderwort, Lesser

Bladderworts have a very clever method of obtaining nutrition which is that they produce small, flask-shaped bladders along their underwater stems. When a tiny creature touches one of these bladders, a little door opens and the insect is sucked into the bladder, trapped there and digested.