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Bladder pod is a small to medium size evergreen shrub with a mounding growth habit, 4-6 ft. tall and as wide. Foliage has pale green color and is comprised of small palmately compound leaves that release a pungent odor when crushed. Terminal clusters of dull yellow flowers provide a showy display in early spring and are followed by the growth of 1-2 in. long inflated seed capsules.

Bladder pod has a remarkable natural range in California where it occurs in coastal, valley and desert climate zones. It is a tough and durable plant that is commonly grown for restoration projects and in native plant gardens. Flowers are attractive during spring and are visited by hummingbirds. In ornamental landscapes and gardens it will grow faster and look better when provided with low amounts of supplemental water during summer.

Water Needs

Bladder pod grows best in sunny garden locations on well drained soils and with low amounts of supplemental water during summer. The chart shown below provides a recommended baseline guide to the monthly irrigation schedule and volume of supplemental water needed to maintain healthy growth throughout the average year. It should be noted there are several months indicated by an asterisk (*) when winter rains can provide sufficient moisture and irrigation is not needed. The high and low range of moisture indicates it can grow with varying amounts of water; more moisture during spring helps achieve a more robust and longer flowering cycle.

Irrigation Schedule and Graph

Low Water Use Plants

Irrigation Schedule 1

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
Runs per Month 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 1x 0x to 2x 0x to 2x
Inches per Run 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1"
Inches per Month 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 0" to 2" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 1" 0" to 2" 0" to 2"

Range of supplemental summer water: 7"
Range of supplemental winter water: 0"-10"

  Jan* Feb* Mar* Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov* Dec*
For more information on how to use this Irrigation Schedule and Graph, follow this link.

For information how to calculate your irrigation system’s schedule and precipitation rate, please follow this link.

Plant Properties

Plant Type: Shrub, Native
Foliage Character: Evergreen
Habit: Mounding
Growth Rate: Fast
Height: 4 ft. - 6 ft.
Width: 4 ft. - 6 ft.
Water Needs: Low 1
Foliage Color: Pale green
Flower Color: Yellow
Flower Season: Spring
Soil Adaptations: Well-draining soil
Exposure Adaptations: Heat, Drought, Aridity, All day sun
Function: Wildlife value, Restoration, Flowering accent plant, Fragrant foliage, Attracts butterflies


Bladderpod generally requires very little maintenance. Remove dead wood at any time of the year (D). If desired, branch tips can be pinched back in late winter or early spring to encourage compact and bushy form, though usually this is not necessary (18, S).



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