Friday, January 13, 2017

Plant profile: Peritoma arboria (Bladderpod)

Latin name: Peritoma arboria (pronounced "perry-TOE-ma are-BORE-ee-ah") (formerly Isomeris arborea, syn. Cleome isomeris)
Common name: Bladderpod, Burro Fat, Spider Flower
Originally from: California and the Baja California Peninsula
Blooms: Bright yellow and delicate, the shrub can often be covered in them.
Light: Full sun!
Water: Drought tolerant and very tough
Drainage: Excellent
Height x width: 5' x 5'
USDA Zones: 7-10
Where to find in P. Garden: Along the cactus wall at PG, and a couple of them live along PRG too.

Well this plant is a solid California native that does ever so well at PG and PRG. Despite the annoying number of Latin names it's endured,  good ol' bladderpod is what we call it.

Covered in unusual and delicate yellow flowers and dangly fruits that, when dry, rattle, the plant has a strange odor, when the leaves are crushed, from which the name "burro fat" comes. Resiny, musky, sort of sulfurous, dry and burnt smelling - you either love it or hate it. I like it, Matt hates it.

Found in the western Mojave Desert and Colorado Desert, all the way to Baja California Peninsula in the wild, ours are on the cactus wall (essentially fried) and along PRG (where the percolation rate of the dirt was impossible to gauge because even with a hose going full blast we could not fill the required 3'x3' hole up with water in order to test the rate it drained out. Um, drought tolerant much?

An evergreen shrub with glaucous (bluish green) leaves, it grows about 4-5' tall and wide and is great for really rocky, gravelly soil, hot, dry areas, alkaline soil, salty coastal bluffs and probably would do just as well planted on top of a burning subterranean coal fire at the end of the world when only this plant, a few yuccas, and some cockroaches remain. It hates overwatering, and is hated by deer. Give it a shot!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Spammy comments will be deleted! Don't bother posting spam links - we won't approve them.

 
page counter
Free Hit Counter