Gordon Bladderpod

Lesquerella gordonii



Gordon bladderpod is a multistemmed, annual forb in the mustard family. The root system is relatively weak, which is often a characteristic of annual plants. This can be helpful when trying to distinguish Gordon bladderpod from other bladderpods, which are perennial and have heavier, deeper root systems. The leaves of Gordon bladderpod are sparse, small, lanceshaped and covered with silverygray hair. The small, four-petaled flowers are bright yellow and fade to reddish as they mature. The hollow seedpods are spherical, about 1/8 inch in diameter.


These plants are found in gravelly or sandy soil in pastures, in open fields, on hillsides and along roadsides in the western half of Texas.

Toxic Agent

The toxic agent of bladderpod is not known. Although this plant has been associated with"stocking up" swelling of the lower legs) in horses, poisoning has not been confirmed by experimental trial. Feeding hoary alyssum (Berteroa incana), a mustard of the northern United States, reproduced the clinical signs. Problems are seen in Texas when a wet winter and spring follow a drought, and horses on pasture are exposed to many of these plants in the flower and seedpod stage.

Signs of Livestock Ingestion

Only horses are affected and they may show the following clinical signs: High temperature; Depression; Edema of the lower body; Swollen legs; Founder.

Management Strategies

In spring, do not place horses in pastures "yellow" with Gordon bladderpod. Horses usually respond favorably if they are removed from the contaminated pastures in the early stage of disease. These plants must constitute a large portion of the diet to induce poisoning. Good pasture management along with adequate desirable forage will prevent poisoning.