The Physaria genus contains the twinpod category of bladderpods.  I never noticed these until 2007, and since then I’ve kept my eye out for them, and have come to appreciate them.

I did not include photos of Physaria in my previous posts, because I saved photos starting in 2007 for one post devoted to this genus.  I anticipate upcoming plants posts here with previously held-back photos covering the genera Tetradymia (horsebrushes) and Asclepias (milkweeds).  Might be awhile until I get to those.

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mid June 07, chambers twinpod (Physaria chambersii), House Range, Millard Co, UT

This is what I was looking at the first time I noticed some of these plants and wondered what they were.  It took me until 2007 to notice a widespread native plant with a form as memorable as this.  Guess I had not paid attention as thoroughly as I thought, when I had been walking in this species’ habitat before.

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late July 07, chambers twinpod (Physaria chambersii), Wasatch Mtns, Utah Co, UT

A few weeks later in 2007, I came across a population of these on a steep south-facing slope in the Wasatch Mtns that displayed the most bounteous seed pods I’ve seen yet.

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late May 08, sharpleaf twinpod (Physaria acutifolia), Moab area, Grand Co, UT

In southeastern Utah in redrock desert, the species shifts from chambersii to acutifolia, although to me the two species are quite similar.  That’s a Penstemon eatonii stalk reaching up there behind the Physaria.

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late May 09, chambers twinpod (Physaria chambersii), southern Snake Range, White Pine Co, NV

Finally I came across some in flower, here in eastern Nevada.  In the Great Basin, flowering occurs from mid April through early July.

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chambers twinpod, Oquirrh Mtns a

mid April 2010, chambers twinpod (Physaria chambersii), Oquirrh Mtns, Utah Co, UT

In early 2010, I came across patches of them in the Oquirrh Mtns, a range I’d walked around in other years without noticing them.  The cloudy skies that day were better than usual for my camera, and I took shots of non-flowering plants, too:

chambers twinpod, Oquirrh Mtns b

mid April 2010, chambers twinpod (Physaria chambersii), Oquirrh Mtns, Utah Co, UT

chambers twinpod, Oquirrh Mtns c

mid April 2010, chambers twinpod (Physaria chambersii), Oquirrh Mtns, Utah Co, UT

chambers twinpod, Oquirrh Mtns d

mid April 2010, chambers twinpod (Physaria chambersii), Oquirrh Mtns, Utah Co, UT

chambers twinpod, Oquirrh Mtns e

mid April 2010, chambers twinpod (Physaria chambersii), Oquirrh Mtns, Utah Co, UT

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Here in the Stansburys, I found some growing in part-shade of large junipers:

late April 2010, chambers twinpod (Physaria chambersii), Stansbury Mtns, Tooele Co, UT

chambers twinpod, Stansbury Mtns b

late April 2010, chambers twinpod (Physaria chambersii), Stansbury Mtns, Tooele Co, UT

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un-IDed bladderpod, Confusion Mtns

early May 2010, unidentified bladderpod, Confusion Mtns, Millard Co, UT

Above is an odd one I found growing in a canyon’s main, dry wash.  I believe it must be a different species, and need to figure that out.  The petal shape and leaf shape are not those of P. chambersii.  I only found one of these plants.  It may belong to the related genus Lesquerella, which apparently has been moved back out from within the genus Physaria where some have considered Lesquerella’s species to be.  Photos online of some nearby occurring Lesquerella species show me this is certainly not L. kingii, intermedia or ludoviciana.  Perhaps it is the seldom-photographed L. goodrichii? Stay tuned.

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chambers twinpod, Confusion Mtns a

early May 2010, chambers twinpod (Physaria chambersii), Confusion Mtns, Millard Co, UT

However, close by in the same canyon I did find another that looked like classic P. chambersii.

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sharpleaf twinpod, Moab area b

late May 2010, sharpleaf twinpod (Physaria acutifolia), Moab area, Grand Co, UT

By late May, the P. acutifolia in southeastern Utah is developing seedpods.

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chambers twinpod, Oquirrh Mtns f

early June 2010, chambers twinpod (Physaria chambersii), Oquirrh Mtns, Tooele Co, UT

This was a late-flowering plant I found growing in part shade.

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chambers twinpod, Mineral Mtns

early July 2010, chambers twinpod (Physaria chambersii), Mineral Mtns, Beaver Co, UT

This plant on a SE-facing slope in the Minerals had one or two probably-fertile seeds in each pod.

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