The Missouri Bladderpod

(Lesquerella filiformis Rollins)

Part of the mustard family

Annual plant grows 4-8 inches tall and has 4 petaled yellow flower

Flowers in April - May

    A federally endangered plant living in only a few counties in Missouri and Arkansas. It is found in exposed rock limestone glades and sparsely vegetated grasslands. It likes shallow soil and exposed rock. Kind of a hardy loner, this plant does not like its habitat encroached upon by non prarie indeginous plantlife. Recent research ahs revealed that climatic forces have a serious affect on germination, with particular emphasis on May precipitation having a determining factor on the next year's yield. Other studies have shown that sun or shade conditions do not appear to be the most relevant factor in germination.   
January 8, 1987 Listed as Endangered. Missouri currently has 23 endangered species listed with the US Fish and WIldlife Service.
Animals--15 species

E -- Bat, gray (Myotis grisescens) *

E -- Bat, Indiana (Myotis sodalis) *

E -- Bat, Ozark big-eared (Corynorhinus (=Plecotus) townsendii ingens) *

T -- Cavefish, Ozark (Amblyopsis rosae) *

T -- Darter, Niangua (Etheostoma nianguae) *

T -- Eagle, bald (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) *

E -- Higgins eye (pearlymussel) (Lampsilis higginsii) *

T -- Madtom, Neosho (Noturus placidus) *

E -- Mucket, pink (pearlymussel) (Lampsilis abrupta) *

E -- Pearlymussel, Curtis (Epioblasma (=Dysnomia) florentina curtisii) *

T -- Plover, piping (Charadrius melodus) *

E -- Pocketbook, fat (Potamilus (=Proptera) capax) *

E -- Shiner, Topeka (Notropis topeka (=tristis)) *

E -- Sturgeon, pallid (Scaphirhynchus albus) *

E -- Tern, least (Sterna antillarum) *

Plants--8 species

T -- Mead's milkweed (Asclepias meadii) *

T -- Decurrent false aster (Boltonia decurrens) *

T -- Geocarpon minimum (Plant, no common name) *

T -- Virginia sneezeweed (Helenium virginicum) *

E -- Missouri bladderpod (Lesquerella filiformis) *

E -- Pondberry (Lindera melissifolia) *

T -- Western prairie fringed orchid (Platanthera praeclara) *

E -- Running buffalo clover (Trifolium stoloniferum) *


On May 6, 1998 Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt reported that thisplant would be dropped from endagered to threatened due to "Recovery Status & Percent of Recovery Objectives Achieved*: Improving 51-75% " It was also recommended the downlisting come because initial findings of only 11 sites in existence in 1986, had grown to 61 confirmed locations.

According to the National Park Service's web page "Wilson's Creek National Battlefield near Springfield, Missouri has several populations of the Missouri bladderpod. The bladderpods are threatened by encroaching red cedars and other woody plants, competition from non-native species such as annual brome grasses, and insect predation on the seeds. Experiments are being conducted on small plots to determine the best ways to reduce woody vegetation and non-native species. Use of fire, a natural occurrence here in presettlement times, may be one answer, if conducted in early fall. The park staff is trying to restore the vegetation of the battlefield to its appearance in 1861, when the battle of Wilson's Creek occurred and settlement of the area had just begun. This restoration should mesh well with conservation of the bladderpod because the scene was more open and less forested during the Civil War. "

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