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Bladder Sage [Paperbag Bush] (Salazaria mexicana)
Shrubs Around Las Vegas, Vegetation Around Las Vegas
 
Bladder Sage (Salazaria mexicana)

General: Bladder Sage (Salazaria mexicana) is an upright, dome-shaped, many-branched shrub with thin twigs that come off the stems at nearly right angles, giving the plant a thin, twiggy appearance. The fruits are diagnostic: they are small (1/2-inch diameter) papery bags with seeds inside that give the plant the other common name “Paperbag Bush.”

Bladder Sage is a fairly common component of wash communities on upper bajadas in the Lower Sonoran (Creosote-Bursage Flats) and Upper Sonoran (Mojave Desert Scrub) life zones. It can be found beyond the washes, but it is most common along washes.

Bladder Sage (Salazaria mexicana)

Family: Mint (Lamiaceae).

Other Names: Paperbag bush.

Plant Form: Upright many-branched shrub with long thin twigs.

Height: 3-4, to about 5 feet.

Bark:

Bladder Sage (Salazaria mexicana)

Stems: Twigs come off branches at nearly right angles; rigid.

Leaves: Oval, to about 1/2-inch long, margin entire.

Flowers: Blooms March to June, and then again in the fall (as late as late November) if conditions permit. Inflorescences axillary at last few nodes on stem, two small flowers per node; flowers purple, 2-lipped; calyx expands to from a hollow, bladder-like fruit 1/2 to 3/4-inch in diameter.

Seeds: Fruit: 4 nutlets. Nutlets small and round.

Bladder Sage (Salazaria mexicana)

Habitat: Dry, well-drained sandy, gravelly, and rocky soils and washes on upper bajadas and moderate slopes in the lower mountains.

Elevation: 3,500 to 6,000 feet.

Distribution: Southwestern U.S. California to Utah and Texas, south into northern Mexico.

Comments:

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Bladder Sage (Salazaria mexicana) Bladder Sage (Salazaria mexicana)
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Bladder Sage (Salazaria mexicana) Bladder Sage (Salazaria mexicana)
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Bladder Sage (Salazaria mexicana) Bladder Sage (Salazaria mexicana)
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Bladder Sage (Salazaria mexicana) more to come ...

 
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Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate. Names generally follow the USDA database.
© 2014 Jim Boone; Last updated 131124

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