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     There are nearly a dozen Physarias (Bladderpods) in the Four Corners area; Physaria scrotiformis, described in 2007 by Steve O'Kane, is the most recent addition to this genus. 

     The Physaria genus was named by Asa Gray in 1848 and it was recently greatly expanded with the addition of all former members of the Lesquerella genus. "Physaria" is Greek for "bladder" and "scrotiformis" means "pouch-shaped", referring to the seed pods, as shown below.  

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Physaria scrotiformis

Physaria scrotiformis

Physaria scrotiformis

Physaria scrotiformis

Physaria scrotiformis  (Sac-like Bladderpod)
Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)

Alpine. Tundra. Summer.
Colorado Trail near Stony Pass, July 21, 2011.

Physaria scrotiformis sprawls along the ground for 3-5 inches and grows to only a few inches tall.  It grows only in the high alpine of the Weminuche Wilderness near Durango and appears within a few days of snow melt.  Flower peduncles typically are spread along the ground, usually in the direction of the melted snow-waters running downhill. 

Compare this Physaria with the other Physarias shown on this web site and you will see a number of similarities: flowers are numerous and bright yellow; peduncles are red and have numerous silvery forked hairs (see the last photographs on the Physaria acutifolia page); and seed pods are inflated.

This new species, discovered by Steve O'Kane in 2006, was thought to occur only on Leadville limestone on West Silver Mesa in the Weminuche Wilderness area near Durango, but it has also been found north of that location on the San Juan Formation, a volcanic breccia.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color KeySpecies present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Physaria scroptiformis

Range map for Physaria scrotiformis  

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