Utricularia subulata
Image of Utricularia subulata

Photo by Michael R. Penskar 

Key Characteristics

Tiny, obscure plant with a delicate, thread-like aerial stem bearing small, pale, closed flowers only 1-2 mm in size; a single bract below the base of each flower attaches at its center (peltate); bladders are borne from underground stems in its wetland habitats.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: T
  • State Rank: S1
  • Global Rank: G5


County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Distribution map for Utricularia subulata

Updated 5/15/2018. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.


Zigzag bladderwort occurs in damp sand at the margins of interdunal wetlands.

Natural Community Types


For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Associated Plants

Twig-rush, spike-rush, beak-rush, sweet gale, shrubby cinquefoil, Kalm's St John's-wort, bluejoint grass, small fringed gentian, bog lobelia, Ohio goldenrod, false asphodel, horned bladderwort, three-square, panic grass, arrowhead, strict sedge, rush, and silverweed.


This species primarily requires the maintenance of hydrology and protection from ORVs and excessive foot traffic.

General Survey Guidelines

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgment of the investigator.

Survey Methods

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at http://mnfi.anr.msu.edu/explorer [Accessed Aug 16, 2018]

More Information

See MNFI Species Abstract


Survey References

Technical References

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