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Peritoma arborea (Bladderpod spiderflower)
Loughmiller, Campbell and Lynn

Peritoma arborea

Peritoma arborea (Nuttall) H. H. Iltis

Bladderpod Spiderflower, Bladderpod, Bladderbush, Burro-fat, Spiderflower

Capparaceae (Caper Family)

Synonym(s): Cleome isomeris, Isomeris arborea

USDA Symbol: PEAR15

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Extremely variable foliage and fruit. Ill-scented, evergreen shrub. Usually rounded, erect, widely branched and approximately 4 ft. in height. Sometimes taller. The oddly scented, yellow flowers are followed by curious pods that resemble paper lanterns. Lacy, gray-green leaves are palmately compound.


From the Image Gallery

11 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: To about 6 feet in height.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Dec
Bloom Notes: Has an unusual scent.


Native Distribution: Southern California, Arizona, and Northwest Mexico.
Native Habitat: Subalkaline coastal bluffs; desert washes; stabilized dunes.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Dry, well-drained, slightly alkaline soils
Conditions Comments: Seems to be deer-proof. Drought tolerant and wind resistant.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Deer Resistant: High


Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: Propagation by seed is possible.
Seed Collection: Mature capsules can be hand-picked. Seeds are both white and black; the black seeds having somewhat higher germination rates.
Seed Treatment: No pretreatment is necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA


Bibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Peritoma arborea in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Peritoma arborea in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Peritoma arborea


Record Modified: 2022-08-01
Research By: Joseph A. Marcus

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