Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Dimorphocarpa wislizeni

Touristplant, Spectacle pod

Brassicaceae (Mustard Family)

Dimorphocarpa wislizeni (Touristplant)
Williams, Pam
Touristplant or spectacle pod is a 1 1/2-2 ft. biennial with spikes of fragrant, 1 in., white to pale-pink blossoms and pale-green leaves. A grayish, hairy plant, either branched or unbranched, with pinnately lobed leaves and white flowers in dense thick racemes. The bi-lobed fruit looks like a pair of eyeglasses.

Species in this genus are very similar, all usually given the name Spectacle Pod, as their fruit resemble tiny eyeglasses. Dimorphocarpa candicans branches mostly above the middle, has upper leaves that are abruptly contracted to the stalk at the base (rather than tapered), and has pods 3/8-1/2 (8-12 mm) wide; it occurs from southwestern Kansas south to northern Texas and eastern New Mexico. In both species the anthers are not held strictly erect but are spread somewhat from one another. A remarkable look-alike in a different genus, California Spectacle Pod (Dithyrea californica), has sepals and anthers held erect and yellow-green, shallowly lobed leaves; it occurs from southern Nevada and southeastern California to western Arizona and northwestern Mexico. Until recently all were considered to be in the genus Dithyrea (meaning two shields in Greek, referring to the pod).

Image Gallery:

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul


USA: AZ , CO , NV , NM , TX , UT
Native Distribution: W. CO & NV, s. to w. TX & NM
Native Habitat: Sandy areas

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Description: Deep, well-drained sands.
Conditions Comments: Cutting the first blooms will encourage lateral stems which will branch and bloom.


Use Medicinal: Whole plant boiled and tea given for delirium. Can be ground mixed with warm water and applied externally to swellings on any part of the body especially the throat. Also, ground into powder and sprinkled on wounds.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Last Update: 2013-11-14