Utricularia dichotoma is one of New Zealand's two terrestrial species of bladderwort. Plants grow pretty much continuously throughout the year, except for those forms growing in alpine areas, although they may be hard to spot when not in flower. They form small to sometimes extensive mats of green to red leaves 7-25mm long and 1-1.5mm wide on the soil surface. The leaves extend below ground only a few millimetres and bear 2-5 small traps, to 2.5mm long, at the base of leaves and scapes. Flowering occurs from late spring to late summer. The up to 15cm tall scapes bear white, lavender or purple (often marked with red or violet) flowers, 10mm across, singly or in opposite pairs. Plants retain their leaves at all times and produce copious quantities of seed. In the wild this species exhibits a bewildering array of forms including the recently synonymised Utricularia monanthos and Utricularia novae-zelandiae.
Bogs, ephemeral lakes and seepages in peatlands, sandy lake margins up to alpine bogs and tarns.
North, South and Stewart Islands from sea level up to 1500m altitude. Also occurs in Western, Southern and Eastern Australia and Tasmania.