The Carnivorous Plant FAQ v. 12

Utricularia section Mirabiles
Species Range Habit1
U. heterochroma Venezuela R
U. mirabilis Venezuela R

Q: About Utricularia subgenus Utricularia section Mirabiles

A: In the genus Utricularia, whenever you are confronted with lithophytes or rheophytes, you are usually dealing with miraculous species indeed.

This section contains two exceedingly elusive species, with very little known about them. They both have clawlike rhizoids that help grasp the rocks so they are not washed away. Read on....

Utricularia heterochroma
Almost as strange as its section partner, this species has odd paddle-like leaves that bear little hairy segments along its length that are almost like tiny, developing capillary leaves. Taylor, at a loss, just calls them "spurlets."

Utricularia mirabilis
As Taylor describes, this species has perhaps the weirdest leaves in the entire genus. They might at first glance appear to be regular, paddle-shaped leaves, until you notice that they also bear little multi-divided, linear leaves emerging from the paddle-shaped leaf's petiole, and these little linear leaves are pinnately covered with further tiny leaf segments. Very strange. The flower has a bizarre, pokey thing that comes out of the lower corolla lip, just to add spice to this piquant brew! This plant is known only from one collection in Venezuela. Wouldn't it be great to see it?

Page citations: Rice, B.A. 2006a; Taylor, P. 1989; personal observations.

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Revised: 2018
©Barry Rice, 2018