The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens
The conservation of Lesquerella pallida is fully sponsored.
Dave Berkshire contributed to this Plant Profile.
The White bladderpod, a member of the Brassicaceae or Mustard Family, was first discovered on prairies within an unusual geological region called the Weches formation near San Augustine, Texas in the 1830's by M.C. Leavenworth but was not noticed again until 1981 by Nixon and Ward. White Bladderpod and Leavenworthia texana, the Texas Golden Glade Cress, are unique or endemic to the Weches formation (George and Nixon 1990). The bladderpod, a winter annual that overwinters as a tap-rooted, leafy rosette, reaches a maximum height of two feet as an erect plant or may be spreading. The white flowers appear in April and May and are composed of four one-half inch long petals. White Bladderpod produces pea shaped "bladderpods" that enclose seeds before dying as its harsh habitat dries in the summer heat. Seed set occurs from late May to early June.
The fine oil contained in the "bladderpods" of other Lesquerella spp. is being studied for potential industrial and cosmetic use.
Distribution & Occurrence
Occurs within oak-hickory-pine forests within the Pineywoods of the Coastal Plain region of East Texas. L. pallida is found within these forests on rocky outcrops of an unusual geological region called the Weches formation. The Weches formation is a band of ancient marine sediments that lies parallel to the Gulf Coast from Sabine to Frio Counties. In East Texas, these alkaline "islands" of soil contrast the surrounding acid soils in this region of the Pineywoods. The thin top layer of these alkaline sediments contains fossilized calcium, potassium and magnesium-containing marine shells and covers a layer of grayish-green impermeable glauconite clay that oxidizes to a reddish-brown color. This clay traps water and remains saturated during rainy periods and becomes very dry during the heat of the summer. The soils of the Weches outcrops are of the Trawick and Nacogdoches series (R. Turner 2001).
Rare East Texas plants found in Weches outcrops include Sedum pulchellum, Calylophus drummondianus, Liatris mucronata, Paranychia virginica, Petalostemum pulcherrimum, Heliotropium tenellum, Eleocharis compressa and Cuphea viscosissima (George and Nixon 1990; Correll and Johnston 1970; Berkshire 1998). Other plants found as companions to L. pallida may include: Asclepias verticillata, Boerhaavia erecta, Calylophus berlandieri ssp. berlandieri, Cahamaecrista fasciculata, Cuphea viscosissima, Dracopsis amplexicaulis, Erigeron strigosus, Galactia volubilis, Mirabilis collina, Modiola caroliniana, Monarda citriodora, Oxalis dillenii, Palafoxia rosea, Polanisia dodecandra ssp. trachysperma, Polanisia erosa var. erosa, Portulaca oleracea, Sabatia campestris, Solanum carolinense, Stachys crenata, Triodanis perfoliata and Verbena haleiand others (Correll and Johnston 1970; Berkshire 1998). Woody species common to the deeper soil strata of the Weches outcrops include Gleditsia triacanthos, Liquidambar styraciflua, Rosa bracteata, Juniperus virginiana, Forestiera ligustrina, Rhamnus lanceolata, Cornus drummondii and Cissus incisa (George and Nixon 1990).
|Occurs at 6 sites with a total annual crop of ~3,000 to 15,000 individuals, with numbers varying according to climatic conditions. Over 16,000 individuals were found in 2000 and 2001 field surveys (Turner 2001). The sites are unprotected populations.|
Conservation, Ecology & Research
Also extremely vulnerable to:
Trampling, overgrazing, herbicides for treatment of b
Plants have consistently reseeded in Mercer's Endangered Species Garden since 1993 and are on display for the public.
Plants maintained at Mercer thrive on garden soil and may indicate a broader adaptability to soil types.
Mercer and the National Seed Storage Laboratory in Ft. Collins, CO maintain seed banks for this species.
Selection of reintroduction sites maintenance of suitable sites.
Encourage landowners to preserve existing populations.
Controlled burns and targeted herbicide treatments limited to July-October should be conducted wherever possible.
Selected logging around populations to increase its range with concurrent management of competitive vegetation.
Controlled grazing may be utilized to suppress competing vegetation where possible.
Surveys for unknown populations.
Continue monitoring sites.
Continued selection of potential reintroduction sites.
Torrey, J.; Gray, A. 1838. A Flora of North America 1:101. New York: Wiley and Putman.
Torrey, J.; Gray, A. 1840. A Flora of North America. Supplement. Additions and Amendations 1:668. New York: Wiley and Putnam.