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Fredonia researcher discovers rare plant species on College Lodge property
Friday, September 12, 2014

Fredonia researcher discovers rare plant species on College Lodge property

Lesser bladderwort, considered rare in New York State.

Biology Professor Jon Titus and his wife, Priscilla, discovered two rare species -- Hill's pondweed (Potamogeton hillii) and lesser bladderwort (Utricularia minor) -- in the large marsh at the College Lodge property recently while kayaking.

The nearest known occurrence of Hill's pondweed, a threatened species, is in Central New York. The species is also imperiled globally.

Lesser bladderwort has been previously found in Chautauqua County but is quite rare across the state. It is a carnivorous plant with small bladders in the water that trap zooplanton, which are then digested inside the bladders. It has beautiful small yellow flowers that emerge from the water surface.

The sightings have been reported and verified, Dr. Titus noted. The actual herbarium specimens will most likely be sent to Cornell University for further study. The presence of both of the species is a testimony to the very high quality and diversity of the College Lodge marsh.

Also discovered in the marsh was a freshwater bryozoan, which resembles an alien blob. Bryozoans are marine animals, often found in coral reefs, which obtain their food by filter feeding but a few species do occur in freshwater marshes.

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