Kodachrome Bladderpod

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Kodachrome Bladderpod

Lesquerella tumulosa

ListedOctober 6, 1993
FamilyCruciferae (Brassiaceae)
DescriptionHerbaceous perennial growing in dense, cushionlike clumps, with branches thathave numerous withering leaves, and yellow flowers.
HabitatRestricted to very dry shale outcrops.
ThreatsLimited population; off-road vehicles, and mineral development.


The Kodachrome bladderpod is a herbaceous perennial. This species grows in dense, cushionlike clumps born from a many-branched caudex (thick base of the stem). The caudex branches are clothed with numerous marcescent (withering) leaves and leaf bases. The stems are 0.4-1.6 in (1-4 cm) long and have basal leaves. The leaves are 0.08-0.4 in (2-10 mm) long and are not differentiated into a blade and petiole. The flowers have spatula-like, yellow petals 0.2-0.28 in (5-7 mm) long. The fruit of this species is an ovoid silicle (pod) about 0.12 in (3 mm) long, and containing 204 seeds.


The Kodachrome bladderpod is endemic to lower elevations of the Paria River drainage in Kane County in southern Utah, were it grows on soils derived from the Carmel geological formation. This plant is restricted to very dry shale outcrops at an elevation of about 5,709 ft (1,740 m).

It is often associated with pinyon pine, Utah juniper, Betterbrush (Purshia tridentata ), Yellow cryptantha (Cryptantha flava ), Indian rice grass (Stipa hymenoides ), Wild buckwheat (Eriogonum corymbosum ), Pallid milkweed (Asclepias cryptoceras ), Hya-line herb (Hymenopappus filifolius ), and Morning-lily (Oenothera caespitosa ).


This species is restricted to one population of about 20,000 plants that have a total range of about 2.5 mi (4 km). It is found only in the Kodachrome flats near the Paria Ridge drainage on public lands in northern Kane County, in south-central Utah.


This plant is threatened by off-road vehicles and mineral development. A single small population remains and is additionally threatened by a limited range. The population is on state and federal lands and is vulnerable to surface disturbance associated with industrial development within its habitat. An active gravel quarry is present on the habitat of this species, and the remainder is subject to leasing for oil and gas mining. Portions of the habitat have been destroyed by prospecting and excavating gravel and clay. A paved road which was recently constructed provides increased access to what is left of the population.

Sheep and cattle grazing may have affected this species in the past, but is not considered a certain threat.

Conservation and Recovery

As this species also occurs on lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management, special consideration will be made to the Kodachrome bladderpod in issuing leases of minerals.


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Regional Office
P. O. Box 25486
Denver Federal Center
Denver, Colorado 80225

Utah Ecological Services Field Office 145 East 1300 South, Suite 404 Salt Lake City, Utah 84115-6110 Telephone: (801) 524-5009 Fax: (801) 524-5021


Soil Conservation Service. 1981. Land Resource Regions and Major Land Resource Areas of The United States. Soil Conservation Service. 156 pp.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 6 October 1993. "Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Final Rule to Determine a Utah Plant, Lesquerella tumulosa (Kodachrome bladderpod), as an Endangered Species." Federal Register. 58(192): 52027-52031.