This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol3", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Terrestrial herbs, with short root-like branches from the base of the scape. Leaves delicate, some basal, erect, with linear blades, usually evanescent and rarely seen, others root-like, borne on the root-like branches, and bladder-bearing; bladders minute, 2-horned at the apex. Inflorescence racemose, the raceme sometimes reduced to a single flower, when several-flowered usually becoming zig-zag above at maturity; scales on the lower portion of the scape several, scarious, peltate; pedicels from the axils of scarious peltate bracts, without bractlets. Calyx 2-parted, the lobes scarious, strongly longitudinally ribbed, spreading under or clasping the base of the mature capsule. Corolla strongly 2-lipped, the lower lip commonly strongly and divergently 3-lobed; palate usually very prominent and 2-lobed. Anthers not lobed. Capsule many-seeded. Seeds prismatic, reticulate. [Latin, seta, a bristle, and scapus, scape, from the stiff, bristle-like scapes.]
About 12 species, chiefly American; 1 species in tropical Africa and 2 in Asia. Type species: Utricularia subulata L. Corolla yellow, the lower lip conspicuous, 2"-4" long; spur conic.
1. 5. subulata.
Corolla white or purplish, both lips minute, less than 1/4" long; spur saccate.
2. S. cleistogama.
Utricularia subulata L. Sp. Pl. 18. 1753.
Utricularia setacea Michx. Fl. Bor. Am. 1: 12. 1803.
Scape filiform, stiff, 1 1/2'-9' high, 1-12-flowered, the pedicels capillary, 1 1/2" -3" long. Calyx-lobes minute, about i" long, becoming 1"long in fruit; corolla pale yellow, 3"-6' long, the upper lip ovate, obtuse, the lower 2"-4" long, strongly and divergently 3-lobed, with a prominent faintly 2-lobed palate; spur flat-tened-conic, obtuse, but acute in outline when viewed from the side, appressed to and about equalling the lower lip; capsule globose, 1" in diameter; seeds irregularly ovoid.
In wet sandy soil, Nantucket to Florida, west to Arkansas and Texas. Also in the West Indies. July-Aug.
U. subulata var. cleistogama A. Gray, Syn. Fl. 21: 317. 1878.
Scape filiform, stiff, 1/2'-21/2' high, 1-3-flowered, the pedicels 1"-3" long. Calyx-lobes minute, the upper faintly 7-nerved, the lower strongly 5-nerved; corolla dirty-white or purplish, \" in diameter or less, cleistoga-mous (?), consisting chiefly of the large saccate spur, the lips minute, obtuse, the lower faintly 3-lobed; capsule globose, 1/2" in diameter; seeds very minute and numerous, irregularly ovoid, 1/10" long.
In wet soil, eastern Massachusetts, Long Island and New Jersey. Rare and local. July-Aug.