Aldrovanda vesiculosa

Aquarium suitability: yes
Usage: Water surface
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Availability [?]: 
  • rarely or not available commercially
  • rarely or not available from other aquarists

Habit, plant type:

  • stem
  • free-floating submerged plant
Botanical name [?]: Aldrovánda vesiculósa L.

Major group (unranked): Seed plants: Flowering plants (Angiosperms)
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Droseraceae
Genus: Aldrovanda


Aldrovanda vesiculosa is a rootless carnivorous aquatic plant that floats under the water surface. At first glance it looks very much like a plant from the genus Utricularia (bladderwort), however, it is not related to them but closely to Venus flytraps (Dionaea muscipula) and Sundew species (Drosera).

A. vesiculosa is mainly distributed in the African, Asian and Australian tropics and subtropics but also occurs in temperate climates. In Germany it is considered a threatened species. A. vesiculosa mainly grows in shallow, warm, acidic waterbodies home to various reeds, and rice paddies. Populations of A. vesiculosa from temperate climates form winter buds (turions) on the end of their sprouts, starting in autumn, which fall off and sink to the ground of the waterbody where they hibernate. In spring, they start sprouting again. In the tropics, this plant remains in its vegetative phase all year round.

A. vesiculosa is a stem plant with whorls of leaves (5 to 9 leaves per whorl). These leaves consist of a widening leaf "stalk", several long bristles and a shell-shaped folding trap closely resembling that of the Venus flytrap. It works in the same way, too.

- To be continued -

References and further reading:
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