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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Great Plains Bladderpod - Physaria arenosa
Other Names:  Lesquerella arenosa

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Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: SNR

Agency Status


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General Description
Stems prostrate to ascending, 5–20 cm from a simple caudex. Basal leaves rosulate, ovate to oblanceolate, 1–5 cm long, entire. Stem leaves linear to narrowly oblanceolate. Vestiture of 4- to 6-rayed short-stalked hairs. Petals 6–9 mm long. Fruit globose, 3–5 mm high, style 2.5–4 mm long; seeds 4 to 7 per locule; pedicels curved down, 5–10 mm long. Our plants are variety arenosa (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Great Plains Bladderpod - Physaria arenosa
*Pedicles are recurved downward 5-10 mm long.
*Fruits are globose not 2-lobed, 3-5 mm high
*Basal leaves on the outside are oblong to narrowly ovate, not spatulate, and 1-5cm long with entire margins.

Thick-leaf BladderpodPhysaria pachyphylla, SOC
*Pedicels curve upwards (ascend), 3-10 mm long.
*Fruits inflated, not 2-lobed, and narrowly elliptic to ovoid, 3-6 mm tall. Style is more than half the length of the fruit (silicle).
*Basal leaves have distinct petioles and blades. Blades are spatulate to oblanceolate in shape, nearly 1 mm thick and cupped (but not folded), and with entire margins [key characteristic].
*Plants grow on pinkish or reddish soils derived from limestone on exposed slopes and ridges in valleys.

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
AB to MB south to CO and WY (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 61

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Sparsely vegetated, sandy soil of grasslands, steppe; plains, valleys (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Al-Shehbaz, I. A. and S. L. O'Kane. 2002. Lesquerella is united with Physaria (Brassicaceae). Novon 12:319-329.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Great Plains Bladderpod"
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Citation for data on this website:
Great Plains Bladderpod — Physaria arenosa.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from