The fleeting blossom of this beautiful flower is the only clue when it comes to finding the most sophisticated meat-eating plant in the world.
Bladderworts are carnivorous aquatic plants. Family members are present in all 50 states and in much of the world. They are considered the fastest in the world, with a catch mechanism that can detect a mistake in a hundredth of a second.
Most are fully aquatic, although there are some species that live in pitcher plant bogs. The species in this photo, the Bladderwort, lives in the swamps of Alabama and in the south of the coast. Here are all kinds of tiny creatures caught and eaten, from individuals such as Planaria and amoebas to juvenile fish and tadpoles
While they are voracious predators, bladder animals have escaped the prominence of their carnivorous cousins, pitcher plants or venus flytrap, largely because they grow underwater rather than on land.
In fact, you can only find out where bladderwort is growing during the spring bloom.