Lesquerella fendleri (A.Gray) S.Wats.
Source: James A. Duke. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops. unpublished.
- Folk Medicine
- Yields and Economics
- Biotic Factors
Bladder-pod is cultivated for the seed which yields up to 28% oil and 22%
protein. The oil has possibilities in the manufacture of grease thickeners due
to the hydroxy-acid content. Major amounts of hydroxy-acids occur in the
obscure seed oils, among them Lesquerella, but few of them have been
subjected to development. According to Osman and Ahmad (1981), the only
hydroxylated vegetable oil commercially available is castor oil. Other
potential sources include Castalis, Coriaria, Dimorphotheca, Hiptage,
No data available.
The seed contains about 2530% oil and 2025% protein. According to Buchanan
and Duke (1981), ca 50% of the fatty acids is 12-OH-C18 diene. The seed meal
(74.8% of the seed) contains 34.3% protein, 1.2% EE, 11.8% CF, 7.0% ash, and
45.7 NFE. Per gram of nitrogen in the seed meal there are 415 mg lysine, 84 mg
methionine, 111 mg cystine, 222 mg isoleucine, 363 mg leucine, 239 mg
phenylalanine, 186 mg tyrosine, 278 mg threonine, and 299 mg valine (Miller et
Annual or short-lived perennial with woody base, resembling a tufted perennial;
stem erect, usually branched, to 3 dm tall; leaves glabrous to pubescent;
flowers bright yellow, petals 810 mm long; fruit glabrous capsule, with the
pedicel erect or ascending the fruit, hygroscopically dehiscent, holding the
seed well through harvest; seed 1026 per capsule, 2,000 per g. At seed
maturation or failing moisture, the plant dries and the taproot breaks off,
allowing the dried plant to blow about like tumbleweeds, thus dispersing the
seeds. Fl. in Arizona during late May to middle of June.
Reported from the North American Center of Diversity, Fendler's bladderpod, or
cvs thereof, is reported to tolerate frost and high pH (Duke, 1978). A
relatively new crop, bladder-pod has no recognized cvs. Because it is very
polymorphic, "certainly the most polymorphic in the genus", it offers genetic
material for selection and breeding. (2n = 12, 24)
Native to the plains and mesas of southwestern United States, eastward to
Kansas and southward into northern Mexico.
Ranging from Cool Temperate Wet through Warm Temperate Thorn to Dry Forest Life
Zones, Fendlers bladderpod is reported to tolerate annual precipitation of 3 to
11 dm, annual temperature of 13 to 15°C, and pH of 5.6 to 8.3 (Duke, 1978).
The crop is cold tolerant at altitudes of 1,2002,100 m, suggesting its use for
more northern cultivation. Seeds germinate in the fall; bloom in the spring,
and seed is harvested in April, indicative of its requirements for cool,
semi-arid conditions during growth. It thrives in areas with 2540 cm rainfall
from September through April, suggestive of the requirements of winter grains.
The plant responds well to irrigation. In Texas, massive populations thrive on
calich soil. It is a pioneer on disturbed soils which are dry, open,
well-drained sites. The plants will tolerate soils with basic reaction (pH
8.28.3) but not those with salt or gypsum.
Seeds germinate after being dormant up to 5 years. Under normal situations,
light is required for germination. Treatment with giberillic acid overcomes
the germination barrier. Optimum germination temperature is 20°C.
Propagation is by seed, drilled in 30 cm rows.
It may be harvested with a one-man conventional combine or by manual means.
Buchanan and Duke (1981), anticipating a need for 90,700,000 kg
Lesquerella seed for hydroxy fatty acids, except 1,121 kg/ha as yield
estimate for Lesquerella. Under dry conditions in small experimental
plots, yields average about 1,600 kg/ha. No commercial data are available
concerning yields or production.
With yields ranging from 1,0001,600 kg/ha, and oil percentage running about
30% (1139%), oil yields of as high as 1 MT/ha seem unlikely without more
germplasm and selection.
No diseases or pests of economic importance are known to occur. However, the
following fungi have been found on Lesquerella fenderli:
Helminthosporium namum, Phoma punctiformis, Phymatotrichum omnivorum,
and Puccinia aristidae.
Complete list of references for Duke, Handbook of Energy Crops
- Buchanan, R.A. and Duke, J.A. 1981. Botanochemical crops. p. 157179. In:
McClure, T.A. and Lipinsky, E.S. (eds.), CRC handbook of biosolar resources.
Vol. II. Resource materials. CRC Press, Inc. Boca Raton, FL.
- Duke, J.A. 1978. The quest for tolerant germplasm. p. 161. In: ASA Special
Symposium 32, Crop tolerance to suboptimal land conditions. Am. Soc. Agron.
- Miller, R.W., van Etten, C.H., and Wolff, I.A. 1962. Amino Acid Composition of
Lesquerella Seed Meals. J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc. 39(2):115117.
- Osman, S.M. and Ahmad, F. 1981. Forest oilseeds. p. 109127. In: Pryde, E.H.,
Princen, L.H., and Mukherjee, K.D. (eds.), New sources of fats and oils. AOCS
Monograph 9. American Oil Chemists' Society. Champaign, IL.
Last update Wednesday, January 7, 1998 by aw