[Bladderpods: The Genus Lesquerella East of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington]

Western Bladderpod, Western Bladder Pod, Western Twin Bladderpod

Physaria occidentalis ssp. occidentalis

Synonyms: Lesquerella cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis, Lesquerella occidentalis ssp. cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis var. cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis ssp. occidentalis, Lesquerella occidentalis var. occidentalis, Physaria occidentalis, Physaria occidentalis var. occidentalis

Flowers of Western Bladderpod, Western Bladder Pod, Western Twin Bladderpod: Physaria occidentalis ssp. occidentalis (Synonyms: Lesquerella cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis, Lesquerella occidentalis ssp. cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis var. cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis ssp. occidentalis, Lesquerella occidentalis var. occidentalis, Physaria occidentalis, Physaria occidentalis var. occidentalis)

The photo above shows a close-up of the flowers of western bladderpod as seen on slopes above the John Day River at milepost 80 along Highway 19 east of Service Creek, OR........April 8, 2007.

Sepals of Western Bladderpod, Western Bladder Pod, Western Twin Bladderpod: Physaria occidentalis ssp. occidentalis (Synonyms: Lesquerella cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis, Lesquerella occidentalis ssp. cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis var. cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis ssp. occidentalis, Lesquerella occidentalis var. occidentalis, Physaria occidentalis, Physaria occidentalis var. occidentalis)The photo at right shows a close-up sideview of the sepals and petals of western bladderpod as seen on slopes above the John Day River at milepost 80 along Highway 19 east of Service Creek, OR........April 8, 2007.
Characteristics:

Western bladderpod is an attractive biennial to perennial wildflower of the intermountain west. It has several to many prostrate or ascending to erect stems rising 10-20 cm high from a cluster of many basal leaves. The leaves may be greenish, but are often covered with dense, silvery, star-shaped hairs (See photos of leaves on this page.). The basal leaves are long petiolate with broad, ovate to orbicular blades with entire margins or toothed edges. Some of the leaves may be pinnately lobed, with the terminal lobe broad and with several smaller, lateral lobes. The leaves range from 2-8 cm long and 5-22 mm wide. The 1-5 stem leaves are reduced in size and are narrowly oblanceolate in shape with entire margins.

The racemes are short at first bloom, but expand as fruit begin to form, the new blooms always clustered at the top. The flower pedicels range from 7-15 mm long and are straight in bloom but become S-shaped in fruit. The narrowly oblong sepals are 6-7 mm long while the yellow petals are 8-1o mm long. The fruits are narrowly elliptic to obovate silicles from 4-8 mm long. The style is 4-5 mm long. The fruits are densely covered with short, silvery star-shaped hairs and are moderately compressed parallel to the septum with thin margins.


Varieties of Western Bladderpod:

Variety cusickii: Biennial. Base of plant lacking many persistent, old, withered leaves. Plants of mid elevation in the mountains of northeastern Oregon south to Nevada and Utah.

Variety diversifolia: Perennial. Base of plant with numerous persistent, old, withered leaves. The basal leaves are usually toothed or lobed and covered with grayish, star-shaped hairs. The stems are often ascending to erect and are generally over 10 cm long. Plants of dry, open areas from mid elevation in the mountains to the dry plains from northeastern Oregon and central Oregon south to California.

Variety occidentalis: Perennial. Base of plant with numerous persistent, old, withered leaves. The basal leaves have entire margins with greenish blades. Plants have prostrate stems generally less than 10 cm long. Found from southeastern Oregon and western Idaho to Nevada.


Habitat:

Western bladderpod may be found in dry soils, ranging from fine clays to rocky soils from the sagebrush covered valleys to rocky ridgetops and subalpine slopes in the mountains. It is often found on unstable, disturbed slopes such as road cuts.


Range:

Western bladderpod may be found east of the Cascade Mts. from central Oregon east to northeastern Oregon and southeastern Washington and east to Gilliam, Harney and Malheur counties in southeastern Oregon. It is found further east to central Idaho and south to California, Utah and Nevada.


Basal leaves of Western Bladderpod, Western Bladder Pod, Western Twin Bladderpod: Physaria occidentalis ssp. occidentalis (Synonyms: Lesquerella cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis, Lesquerella occidentalis ssp. cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis var. cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis ssp. occidentalis, Lesquerella occidentalis var. occidentalis, Physaria occidentalis, Physaria occidentalis var. occidentalis)

The photo above shows the basal leaves of western bladderpod (variety occidentalis) as seen along road 8 south of Mitchell, OR...........May 24, 1998. Note the dentate leaf margins and dense covering of gray hairs on the blades.

Fruit of Western Bladderpod, Western Bladder Pod, Western Twin Bladderpod: Physaria occidentalis ssp. occidentalis (Synonyms: Lesquerella cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis, Lesquerella occidentalis ssp. cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis var. cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis ssp. occidentalis, Lesquerella occidentalis var. occidentalis, Physaria occidentalis, Physaria occidentalis var. occidentalis)
The photo above shows a close-up of the densely haired fruit of western bladderpod (var. occidentalis) as seen on steep slopes above the John Day River along Oregon Highway 19 at milepost 80 in central Oregon........May 28, 2007. Note that the hairs are star-like, with numerous hairs arising from one spot.

Western Bladderpod, Western Bladder Pod, Western Twin Bladderpod: Physaria occidentalis ssp. occidentalis (Synonyms: Lesquerella cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis, Lesquerella occidentalis ssp. cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis var. cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis ssp. occidentalis, Lesquerella occidentalis var. occidentalis, Physaria occidentalis, Physaria occidentalis var. occidentalis) - Western Bladderpod, Western Bladder Pod, Western Twin Bladderpod: Physaria occidentalis ssp. occidentalis (Synonyms: Lesquerella cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis, Lesquerella occidentalis ssp. cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis var. cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis ssp. occidentalis, Lesquerella occidentalis var. occidentalis, Physaria occidentalis, Physaria occidentalis var. occidentalis)

The photo above shows a view of the flowers and leaves of western bladderpod as seen on slopes above the John Day River at milepost 80 along Highway 19 east of Service Creek, OR........April 8, 2007.

Western Bladderpod, Western Bladder Pod, Western Twin Bladderpod: Physaria occidentalis ssp. occidentalis (Synonyms: Lesquerella cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis, Lesquerella occidentalis ssp. cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis var. cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis ssp. occidentalis, Lesquerella occidentalis var. occidentalis, Physaria occidentalis, Physaria occidentalis var. occidentalis)

Western bladderpod as seen near the head of Kiger Gorge, Steens Mountain........July 11, 2014. Note the remains of the previous years growth at the base of the plant.

Fruits of Western Bladderpod, Western Bladder Pod, Western Twin Bladderpod: Physaria occidentalis ssp. occidentalis (Synonyms: Lesquerella cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis, Lesquerella occidentalis ssp. cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis var. cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis ssp. occidentalis, Lesquerella occidentalis var. occidentalis, Physaria occidentalis, Physaria occidentalis var. occidentalis)

The photo above shows a close-up of the densely haired fruits of western bladderpod (var. occidentalis) as seen on steep slopes above the John Day River along Oregon Highway 19 at milepost 80 in central Oregon.........May 28, 2007. Note that the hairs are star-like, with numerous hairs arising from one spot.

Western Bladderpod, Western Bladder Pod, Western Twin Bladderpod: Physaria occidentalis ssp. occidentalis (Synonyms: Lesquerella cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis, Lesquerella occidentalis ssp. cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis var. cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis ssp. occidentalis, Lesquerella occidentalis var. occidentalis, Physaria occidentalis, Physaria occidentalis var. occidentalis) - Western Bladderpod, Western Bladder Pod, Western Twin Bladderpod: Physaria occidentalis ssp. occidentalis (Synonyms: Lesquerella cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis, Lesquerella occidentalis ssp. cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis var. cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis ssp. occidentalis, Lesquerella occidentalis var. occidentalis, Physaria occidentalis, Physaria occidentalis var. occidentalis)

Western bladderpod (var. occidentalis) blooming on gravelly (serpentine-like) soils along the Canyon Mountain Trail, Strawberry Mountain Wilderness..........May 29, 2014.

Western Bladderpod, Western Bladder Pod, Western Twin Bladderpod: Physaria occidentalis ssp. occidentalis (Synonyms: Lesquerella cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis, Lesquerella occidentalis ssp. cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis var. cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis ssp. occidentalis, Lesquerella occidentalis var. occidentalis, Physaria occidentalis, Physaria occidentalis var. occidentalis)

The photo above shows the basal leaves of western bladderpod (variety occidentalis) as seen along road 8 south of Mitchell, OR.........May 24, 1998. Note the dentate leaf margins and dense covering of gray hairs on the blades.

Western Bladderpod, Western Bladder Pod, Western Twin Bladderpod: Physaria occidentalis ssp. occidentalis (Synonyms: Lesquerella cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis, Lesquerella occidentalis ssp. cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis var. cusickii, Lesquerella occidentalis ssp. occidentalis, Lesquerella occidentalis var. occidentalis, Physaria occidentalis, Physaria occidentalis var. occidentalis)

Western bladderpod from atop Red Hill (6200') on the southeast flanks of Newberry Crater, Deschutes County, OR........July 15, 1994. Note the bright yellow flowers and and silvery-gray leaf blades covered with short, star-shaped hairs.

Paul Slichter