Utricularia vulgaris – bladderwort

Utricularia vulgaris is a free-floating carnivorous aquatic plant which traps prey in flattened bladders. This opaque gelatin model depicts detail of the bladder structure which is widely agreed to be one of the most spohisticated structures in the plant kingdom.

Each bladder has a mouth guarded by a hanging door, the stiff bristles near the lower edge act as the tripping mechanism. When a small animal brushes against the bristles the door snaps shut behind it . Enzymes and bacterial action break down the prey and nutrients are absorbed through the cell walls.