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Natural Connections

Jun 23, 2022

“Oh!” I exclaimed happily, as a submerged plant caught my eye. Its thin, branching, bottle-brush leaves looked somewhat similar to coontail or even watermilfoil, but I knew better. “Bladderwort!” I exclaimed. I’ve written about this carnivorous plant with yellow snapdragon-like flowers before.

Pulling up the whole plant—this species grows as a free-floating leafy stem less than a foot long—I found the namesake bladders. Smaller than an apple seed and of a similar shape, the translucent capsules sparkled in the sun. That beauty is deadly.