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Andreas Fleischmann

U. quinquedentata and U. simmonsii

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Dear Utricularia-lovers,

Here are some photographs of two of the smallest-flowered Utricularia species (and therefore some of the smallest single flowers in the plant kingdom! The minute duckweeds do bear reduced inflorescences, thus are out of competition here! ;)). Both species are from tropical northern Australia and annuals in their natural habitats. However they seem to be at least a little bit more perennial in cultivation, i.e. they do not die back after they have set seed.

Utricularia quinquedentata is one of the tiniest Utricularia species known so far:

Uquinquedentata01.jpg

I got this plant from northern Queensland, from Allen Lowrie.

Uquinquedentata02.jpg

Uquinquedentata03.jpg

He calls it „U. aff. quinquedentata”, the main difference to “typical” U. quinquedentata seems to be the fact that in this plant, the upper calyx lobe is divided – thus this plant has three calyx lobes (unique in Utricularia so far).

Uquinquedentata.jpg

See my finger for size comparition to illustrate how tiny this flower is! It seems like all members of section Pleiochasia (to which U. quinquedentata belongs) need to be pollinated by hand in order to set seed. Unfortunately this is true for the minute U. quinquedentata as well. It’s quite tricky to pollinate these small flowers under a binocular using some tweezers and a hair of my eyebrows ;)

Uquinquedentata04.jpg

The single flowers sit on top of hair-like scapes ca. 5 cm long.

Uquinquedentata05.jpg

Another diminuitive Utricularia from tropical northern Queensland, just recently described in spring 2008:

Utricularia simmonsii (of the monotypic section Minutae).

This plant has strikingly red flowers (the colour is similar to that of flowers of U. quelchii), which are about 1 mm in diam. The flowers are born on very short scapes just above the top of the soil.

Usimmonsii.jpg

Note the grains of quarz sand and the moss plantlets for size estimation! ;) You can even spot some of the dark green, thin hair-like leves of U. simmonsii between the sand grains.

Usimmonsii01.jpg

Flowers of this species appear „open“, as they lack a palate (like almost all minute Utricularia flowers do. Imagine that the pollinators of these flowers are most likely very small, too! They cannot pull open a closed flower like usually found in Utricularia)

The flowers of U. simmonsii last for 2-3 days. Unfortunately, they will need pollination by hand in order to set some seed, too.

Usimmonsii02.jpg

Lateral view of the flower.

Usimmonsii03.jpg

U. simmonsii in full bloom ;) It will need a lot of field experience (and some good amount of luck! ;)) to discover a tiny plant like this in its natural habitat in northern Australia! ;)

All the best,

Andreas

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Nice finger..... a plain whorl I believe. The flowers are cute as well!

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Out standing images of marvelous little plants, Bravo!

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Incredible photos of little flowers. :Laie_94:

Very nice flowers, I love the U. simmonsii, very unusual and special! ... but I have no idea how to grow them :banging:

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Hi Andreas,

great pictures from till now very rare plants.

These shots a really the best i have seen till now. :banging:

The flower of U. quinquedentata remembers me a little bit to Pinguicula flowers.

Sure it´s not easy to find them in nature. :Laie_94:

Thanks for sharing these pictures.

Best regards,

Dani

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