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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Silver Bladderpod - Physaria ludoviciana
Other Names:  Lesquerella ludoviciana

Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S2S3
(see State Rank Reason below)
State Threat Score: No Known Threats

Agency Status


External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Rare in Montana. Primarily a plains species which barely enters eastern Montana where it is restricted to sandy sites. Locally common at one site and threats to the species' viability appear to be minimal at this time.
General Description
Stems ascending, 15–25 cm from a simple caudex. Basal leaves rosulate, erect, linear, 3–7 cm long. Stem leaves similar, reduced upward. Vestiture of 4- to 7-rayed stellate hairs. Petals 6–8 mm long. Fruit globose, 3–4 mm high; style 2–5.5 mm long; seeds 2 to 6 per locule; pedicels curved down, 10–16 mm long (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Silver Bladderpod - Physaria ludoviciana, SOC
*Pedicles are recurved downward 10-16 mm long.
*Fruits are globose not 2-lobed, 3-4 mm high
*Basal leaves are erect, linear, 3-7 mm long.

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
MT to MB south to NV, AZ, CO, OK and IL (Lesica et al. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 56

(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)

Sandy sites on the plains, often around sandstone outcrops.
Predicted Suitable Habitat Model

This species has a Predicted Suitable Habitat Model available.

To learn how these Models were created see

Ecological Systems Associated with this Species

Threats or Limiting Factors
Threat impact not assigned because threats are not known (MTNHP Threat Assessment 2021).

  • 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.
    • Quire, R.L. 2013. The sagebrush steppe of Montana and southeastern Idaho shows evidence of high native plant diversity, stability, and resistance to the detrimental effects of nonnative plant species. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 124 p.
    • Rundquist, V.M. 1973. Avian ecology on stock ponds in two vegetational types in north-central Montana. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 112 p.
    • Seipel, T.F. 2006. Plant species diversity in the sagebrush steppe of Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 87 p.
    • Wood, A.K. 1987. Ecology of a prairie mule deer population. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 205 p.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Silver Bladderpod"
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Citation for data on this website:
Silver Bladderpod — Physaria ludoviciana.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from