Utricularia campbelliana

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April 2020

It’s there, huddled in the sea of moss that blankets the xaxim panel of my terrarium. The plant took its time to produce new leaves at a decent rate, but I can now count more than twenty of them, albeit small ones. More are probably hidden within the moss. Saying that it is anywhere close to flowering would be a stretch, but at least it does grow.

Utricularia campbelliana in April 2020
The plant’s leaves are the bright, usually elongated spots. The camera kept overexposing them.

September 2018

I have always considered Utricularia campbelliana as the “ultimate” bladderwort. The deep red color of the flowers is absolutely unique, and they are among the largest in the genus. Due to the slow growth rate and rarity of this species, it took me years to find someone willing to part with a portion of their plant.

The tree fern panel of my terrarium should make an excellent growing support for U. campbelliana, considering its epiphytic habits. That said, I could not insert the stolons—on which the bladder-like traps are—into it. These things are not supposed to be aboveground and have a tendency to dry quickly, so the first few weeks will be crucial as to whether the plant will settle or not. If it manages to dig through the tree fern fibers, where moisture is higher, it should be fine.

Utricularia campbelliana in September 2018
I used a patch of red sphagnum moss as an initial support for the little U. campbelliana portion. Hopefully the plant’s stolons will spread into the tree fern.
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