Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Salazaria mexicana


SPECIES: Salazaria mexicana
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Tesky, Julie L. 1994. Salazaria mexicana. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].
ABBREVIATION : SALMEX SYNONYMS : NO-ENTRY SCS PLANT CODE : SAME COMMON NAMES : bladdersage paperbagbush TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name for bladdersage is Salazaria mexicana Torr. [1,17,23]. There are no recognized subspecies, varieties, or forms. LIFE FORM : Shrub FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Salazaria mexicana
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Bladdersage is found in the Mojave, Sonora, and Colorado deserts from southern California to southern Utah, western Arizona, southwestern Texas, and northern Mexico [8,15,20,23,31]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES29 Sagebrush FRES30 Desert shrub FRES33 Southwestern shrubsteppe FRES35 Pinyon - juniper FRES40 Desert grasslands STATES : AZ CA NM TX UT MEXICO BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : 7 Lower Basin and Range 12 Colorado Plateau 13 Rocky Mountain Piedmont KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K023 Juniper - pinyon woodland K024 Juniper steppe woodland K039 Blackbrush K041 Creosotebush K042 Creosotebush - bursage K044 Creosotebush - tarbush K053 Grama - galleta steppe K054 Grama - tobosa prairie K057 Galleta - three-awn shrubsteppe K059 Trans-Pecos shrub savanna SAF COVER TYPES : 238 Western juniper 239 Pinyon - juniper SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Bladdersage is commonly found in the desert grasslands, creosotebush (Larrea tridentata) scrub, blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) scrub, mixed desert shrub communities, Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) woodlands, and pinyon (Pinyon spp.)-juniper (Juniperus spp.) woodlands [9,11,17,18,31]. Nichol [33] described a Mojave yucca (Yucca schidigera)-bladdersage association found on rocky soils in the Mojave Desert of Arizona. In addition to the above mentioned species, bladdersage is commonly found associated with California buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum), spiny hopsage (Grayia spinosa), Nevada ephedra (Ephedra nevadensis), green ephedra (E. viridis), and Mojave desertrue (Thamnosma montana), [18,27]. Bladdersage is listed as a codominant species in the following publication: The natural vegetation of Arizona [33].


SPECIES: Salazaria mexicana
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Bladdersage is grazed only lightly by cattle and horses except on ranges where little other forage is available [9]. PALATABILITY : NO-ENTRY NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : Some arroyo habitats where bladdersage occurs provide den sites for the desert tortoise [16]. VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : NO-ENTRY OTHER USES AND VALUES : NO-ENTRY OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Salazaria mexicana
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Bladdersage is a native, perennial, rhizomatous, rounded to straggly, intricately branched shrub 1 to 3.5 feet (0.3-1 m) tall [8,15,17,29,31]. It is usually sparsely leaved [23]. The mature plants form a dense tangled clump of intertwined living and dead stems [4]. The branches are spine tipped with papery bladders scattered over the surface [15]. The leaves are 0.3 inch (8 mm) wide and 0.2 to 1 inch (5-25 mm) long, thickish, and leathery [23]. The flowers are in loose racemes 2 to 4 inches (5-10 cm) long [15,17,29,31]. The calyx is pouch shaped and about 0.37 inch (0.95 cm) long. At maturity it is bladdery and inflated (0.5 to 0.75 inch [1.3-1.9 cm] in diameter), enclosing four nutlets [29]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Geophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Bladdersage reproduces by seed. The flowers are animal pollinated and the seeds are dispersed by wind [19]. Seeds are highly viable during the first year after they are produced, but viability decreases by 1.5 years. The percent germination of bladdersage seeds collected in summer and late fall of 1973 was as follows [22]: storage conditions date observed warehouse -15 deg C 4 deg C room temp. December 1973 84 N/A N/A N/A January 1975 92 83 94 91 May 1975 33 44 44 43 Bladdersage also reproduces by sprouting from rhizomes [4]. Comstock and others [4] described the growth of bladdersage on a Mojave Desert study site as follows: Shoots originated from underground rhizomes and reached a height of 1.6 to 3.3 feet (0.5-1.0 m) in the first year. For the next 2 to 5 years whorls of short side branches originated repeatedly from the uppermost nodes forming short floral shoots and ever more tangled whorls of old twigs. Twig lifespans were variable. Shoots originating from rhizomes lasted 3 to 5 years and the short floral side branches often died back during their first drought [4]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Bladdersage is commonly found on sandy, gravelly, or clayey soils in dry washes and canyons, on desert hillsides and mesas, and along arroyos [8,11,20]. It grows best on sunny sites [26]. Bladdersage commonly occurs at the following elevations: Arizona - below 3,000 feet (914 m) [11] California - below 5,000 feet (1,524 m)[17] Trans-Pecos Texas - 2,200 to 3,100 feet (670-944 m) [20] Utah - 3,083 to 4,593 feet (940-1,400 m) [31] SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Bladdersage can apparently be found in most stages of succession. Wells [30] described it as a pioneer shrub typically found in disturbed areas. Bladdersage density was 81 plants per acre (202 plants/ha) and frequency was 20 percent on a 33-year-old abandoned street system of a Nevada ghost town [30]. In the Mojave Desert bladdersage is a long-lived shrub present in later stages of desert succession [27,28]. According to Vasek and Barbour [27] bladdersage prefers undisturbed sites and usually decreases in relative abundance with soil disturbance. On a sandy bajada in California, bladdersage was present in an old, stable creosotebush scrub community [27]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Bladdersage generally flowers from March through June [15,17,23]. Its leaves are drought deciduous [4].


SPECIES: Salazaria mexicana
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Regeneration of bladdersage after fire is not described in literature currently available. Because of its sprouting ability, it probably can regenerate from underground rhizomes if top-killed by fire. Bladdersage probably also colonizes burned areas via wind-dispersed seeds. Fire frequency in the communities where bladdersage occurs depends on productivity and continuity of fuels. In creosotebush scrub communities, fires generally occur in those occasional years when exceptionally heavy winter rains have produced abnormally high number of annuals [10]. Fires are also rare in blackbrush communities; however, these communities have been known to burn under conditions of high temperature, high wind velocity, and low relative humidity [10]. Pinyon-juniper communities historically burned every 10 to 30 years [32]. Fires in mountainous areas of the Mojave Desert where bladdersage occurs usually cover limited areas but may be highly destructive to the woody tissues of bladdersage plants. These mountain burns are very susceptible to erosion and revegetate slowly [10]. Where livestock grazing has reduced grass cover and accelerated erosion, fire frequency has decreased [14,32]. FIRE REGIMES : Find fire regime information for the plant communities in which this species may occur by entering the species name in the FEIS home page under "Find Fire Regimes". POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : Rhizomatous shrub, rhizome in soil Secondary colonizer - off-site seed


SPECIES: Salazaria mexicana
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Information was not available regarding the immediate effects of fire on bladdersage. However, bladdersage is probably top-killed or killed by fire. Severe fires may kill belowground rhizomes. PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : NO-ENTRY FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Salazaria mexicana
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Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. 786 p. [806] 6. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905] 7. Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; [and others]. 1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p. [998] 8. Hickman, James C., ed. 1993. The Jepson manual: Higher plants of California. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1400 p. [21992] 9. Humphrey, Robert R. 1953. Forage production on Arizona ranges. III. Mohave County: A study in range condition. Bulletin 244. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona, Agricultural Experiment Station. 79 p. [4440] 10. Humphrey, Robert R. 1974. Fire in the deserts and desert grassland of North America. In: Kozlowski, T. T.; Ahlgren, C. E., eds. Fire and ecosystems. 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Proceedings--symposium on shrub ecophysiology and biotechnology; 1987 June 30 - July 2; Logan, UT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-256. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 5-22. [5918] 20. Powell, A. Michael. 1988. Trees & shrubs of Trans-Pecos Texas including Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains National Parks. Big Bend National Park, TX: Big Bend Natural History Association. 536 p. [6130] 21. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843] 22. Rowlands, Peter G. 1980. Recovery, succession, and revegetation in the Mojave Desert. In: Rowlands, Peter G., ed. The effects of disturbance on desert soils, vegetation & community processes with emphasis on off road vehicles: a critical review. Special Publication, Desert Plan Staff. Riverside, CA: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management: 75-119. [20680] 23. Shreve, F.; Wiggins, I. L. 1964. Vegetation and flora of the Sonoran Desert. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 2 vols. [21016] 24. Stickney, Peter F. 1989. Seral origin of species originating in northern Rocky Mountain forests. Unpublished draft on file at: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT; RWU 4403 files. 7 p. [20090] 25. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1982. National list of scientific plant names. Vol. 1. List of plant names. SCS-TP-159. Washington, DC. 416 p. [11573] 26. Van Dersal, William R. 1938. Native woody plants of the United States, their erosion-control and wildlife values. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. 362 p. [4240] 27. Vasek, Frank C.; Barbour, Michael G. 1977. Mojave desert scrub vegetation. In: Barbour, M. G.; Major, J., eds. Terrestrial vegetation of California. New York: John Wiley and Sons: 835-867. [3730] 28. Vasek, F. C.; Johnson, H. B.; Eslinger, D. H. 1975. Effects of pipeline construction on creosote bush scrub vegetation of the Mojave Desert. Madrono. 23(1): 1-13. [3429] 29. Vines, Robert A. 1960. Trees, shrubs, and woody vines of the Southwest. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 1104 p. [7707] 30. Wells, Philip V. 1961. Succession in desert vegetation on streets of a Nevada ghost town. Science. 134: 670-671. [4959] 31. Welsh, Stanley L.; Atwood, N. Duane; Goodrich, Sherel; Higgins, Larry C., eds. 1987. A Utah flora. Great Basin Naturalist Memoir No. 9. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University. 894 p. [2944] 32. Wright, Henry A.; Bailey, Arthur W. 1982. Fire ecology: United States and southern Canada. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 501 p. [2620] 33. Nichol, A. A. [revisions by Phillips, W. S.]. 1952. The natural vegetation of Arizona. Tech. Bull. 68 [revision]. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona, Agricultural Experiment Station: 189-230. [3928]