Lesquerella congesta

Dudley Bluffs Bladderpod

FWS Focus


Dudley Bluffs bladderpod (Physaria congesta, was Lesquerella congesta) is a herbaceous (non-woody) plant species in the mustard family (Brassicaceae). It is an extremely small cushion plant growing only 1 to 3 cm (0.4 to 1.2 inches) in diameter. It has small silvery leaves clustered at the base and attached to a large woody taproot. In late April to late May the Dudley Bluffs bladderpod is easy to spot when its bright yellow flowers bloom. The rest of the year it is inconspicuous and may go unnoticed. Seeds are contained in small air-filled sacs, hence the common name bladderpod. Dudley Bluffs bladderpod is only known to occur in the Piceance Creek area, of Rio Blanco County in western Colorado, near the town of Meeker. Dudley Bluffs bladderpod is located primarily within the Duck Creek drainage. Its known habitat is flat or low angled slopes of the Thirteenmile Creek and Yellow Creek tongues of the Green River Formation. These shale outcrops have little soil development and are very harsh for plant growth; only plants adapted to survive in these conditions may thrive. The unique geology of the Piceance Creek area is important to the Dudley Bluffs bladderpod (and many other endemic plant species). It is also part of the Piceance Basin’s multimineral oil shale zone, an area containing large reserves of oil shale, natural gas, and minerals. Energy exploration, extraction, and the many associated activities in the region can disturb or degrade the fragile shale habitats. They can also pose a threat to native ground nesting bees that pollinate Dudley Bluffs bladderpod. Others threats include weed invasion and increased access to these remote areas by recreationists.

Scientific Name

Lesquerella congesta
Common Name
Dudley Bluffs bladderpod
FWS Category
Flowering Plants

Location in Taxonomic Tree

Identification Numbers



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