Missouri Bladderpod

Missouri Bladderpod at Wilson's Creek National Battlefield.
Missouri Bladderpod at Wilson's Creek National Battlefield.


The Missouri bladderpod is a small plant with yellow, 4-petaled flowers. This plant takes its name from the small, round, bladder-like fruits that form after pollination. The plant is short ranging roughly in height between the size of a golf tee and a soup can. These plants grow in glades in Missouri and Arkansas. Glades, sometimes also called balds, occur in areas where the soil is very shallow. Trees only grow in places within glades where their roots find cracks in the bedrock. Therefore, much of the glade is covered in herbs and grasses like a prairie. Within glades, the Missouri bladderpod grows best in very rocky areas where herbs and grass are low in height and sparse.

In the United States, the Missouri bladderpod is a rare plant that is protected under the Endangered Species Act. For this reason, park managers at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield protect Missouri bladderpod populations within the park. These actions include protecting the plant from harm, such as digging or trampling. Managers, however, can also create better conditions for the plant. For example, prescribed fire and tree removal at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield improve the habitat quality for the bladderpod

Monitoring Questions and Approach
  • Where are Missouri bladderpod populations found within the battlefield?
  • How many individual plants make up each population and how does that change over time?
  • Within selected glades, how is the habitat changing, especially the amount of Eastern red cedar, a tree which may spread in glades?

Monitoring Updates

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    Last updated: November 6, 2017