The Carnivorous Plant FAQ v. 11.5
- courtesy of -
The International Carnivorous Plant Society

Q: About rheophytic Utricularia

A: Rheophytic species are those that grow in streams, on streambanks, or on other kinds of watercourses. I have never seen the truly rheophytic species, but I have observed the occasional case where suspended aquatics (U. macrorhiza) or affixed aquatics (U. gibba, U. intermedia, U. ochroleuca) were growing as rheophytes, but these were cases of plants growing in atypical situations. I think that true rheophytes live in rapidly flowing, riparian areas.

About eight species of Utricularia are probably best considered to be rheophytes: U. choristotheca, U. determannii, U. heterochroma, U. mirabilis, U. neottioides, U. oliveriana, U. rigida, and U. tetraloba. Interestingly, it has been observed that rheophytes often bear few or no bladders.

None of these species are in cultivation.

If you wanted to try to grow them, you could try a simple Sphagnum slurry, but you are likely to be disappointed. If the plants need high levels of oxygen, adding an aquarium bubbler might help. I bet, though, that your best changes would be had if you created a cascading flow table, such as has been used to grow cliff-dwelling Pinguicula hirtiflora.

Page citations: Barthlott, W. et al. 2007; Peruzzi, L. et al. 2004; Rice, B.A. 2006a; Taylor, P. 1989.

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Revised: December 2007
©Barry Rice, 2005