Plants of Lost Lake

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The Lost Lake wetland is also home to a wide variety of plant species, which are key to water filtration and biological productivity. Plentiful vegetation and shallow water provide diverse habitats for fish and wildlife. OHA is conducting an inventory of plants both in the wetland and the upland, which helps us to better understand the biological resources present and to monitor changes over time. To date, over 75 plants species have been identified and photographed onsite, with a record of their wetland indicator status and other pertinent information. 


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Wildflowers (terrestrial, wetland, and aquatic flowering plants)

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Plant of Interest: Carnivorous Bladderwort

Interesting changes in the plant community are occurring as a result of increasing areas of deep standing water from beaver dams. The bog birch is dying out where beaver ponds have been developed. In place of the bog birch, vast networks of Common Bladderwort (Ultricularia vulgaris) are thriving.

Bladderwort - Flower
The only parts of the Bladderwort that are above water are the stem and the yellow flower.
Bladderwort - Underwater

This is what Bladderwort looks like underwater. This plant is a food source for muskrats and a variety of
water birds, and provides cover for many aquatic animals. Its ability to bend with water currents keeps it from breaking, while emergent flowers produce nectar, providing access to pollinators above the water surface. 
Bladderwort - Closeup

This is what the Bladderwort looks like when you pull it out of the water (held by OHA volunteer, Susie Shaddox). 

The name "Common" Bladderwort isn't a very good descriptor for a plant with highly unique capabilities...

Each of the bladders has trigger hairs that open trap doors when touched by small aquatic insects. When the valve bursts open, it creates a vacuum and water rushes in, pulling tiny animals into the bladder, providing nitrogen and other nutrients to the plant. This is the fastest known underwater carnivorous trap.

Common Bladderwort was featured in OHA's Buckhorn Bulletin last fall. Click here for an interesting video about how Bladderwort accomplishes this amazing feat.

You can download the Fall 2013 Buckhorn Bulletin here to read more about Bladderwort.