Botany Photo of the Day
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Isomeris arborea

Isomeris arborea
Isomeris arborea

Today's post is a follow-up to the January 28, 2007 entry on Isomeris arborea. I thought I would share why the common name for this plant is bladderpod.

These photographs were taken at the south entrance to Joshua Tree National Park, in the Sonoran Desert portion of the park (the north part of the park features the Mojave Desert).


These are really very nice pictures, especially the wide angle. I love the pictures of plants I don't normally get to see in person.

Thanks for the two photos, Daniel. I love to see the close-up flowers and seed pods and also to see what the whole plant looks like. Thanks also for photos from Joshua Tree National Park. I grew up on the Mojave Desert about an hour's drive from Joshua Tree and love all desert plants (as well as plants from everywhere else)!

I thought Bladderpod was a wildflower that begins growing about now and blooms mid summer here in Arizona.
Guess they must be cousins.


Around Dec '09 I opted upon this shrub at the northern boundary line of the Joshua Tree Nat'l Park, a mile from my home in Joshua Tree at an altitude of 2800 feet above sea level and about 4 miles east of the Park's West Entry. At the time I had no idea what it was. But it grows well in high rock crevices as well as at ground level. Attempting to transplant it (a small 14" high plant, roots and all) fails. Gathering seeds is near impossible as the critters eat 'em up before human collectors find them. Evergreen, blooms December through about June. Seed pods may be collected from the upper portion of a tall (up to about 5-6 feet and as wide or wider) where ground squirrels are not apt to venture for a snack. If the pod is dry (tan)... shake it. If it rattles, pick it. Not sure when to plant it. I'll have to experiment. As of May 5, 2010 the target plant has hundreds of green seed pods. None show any signs of maturity yet. This plant does have an obnoxious odor about it when the branches are disturbed. In an appropriate desert area, the Bladder Pod can be used as a dense screen and with its woody structure will work well as a wind break. The shrub survives and thrives on as little as 3-4 inches of rain per year. Picking fallen seed pods usually result in zero as the critters have already opened them up and consumed the contents. Photos shown here are excellent.

BF - Joshua Tree Calif

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