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Mexican Bladdersage
Scutellaria mexicana
About Mexican Bladdersage (Scutellaria mexicana) 0 Nurseries Carry This Plant Salazaria mexicana, commonly known by variants on bladder sage or paperbag bush, is a shrub of the mint family Lamiaceae distinctive for its calyx lobes that develop into small bag- or bladder-like shells around the fruits. Widespread in the southwestern part of North America, it is the only member of its genus. This plant takes the form of a rounded shrub, typically 50-100 centimeter high, sometimes larger. The stems form a spreading rigid pattern, with the tips often becoming spine-like. The leaves are small, 3-15 millimeter long and 2-8 millimeter wide, ovate to elliptic, entire, and with a very short or nonexistent petiole. The 2-lipped flowers develop in pairs facing away from each other; the upper lip is white to light violet and hairy, while the lower lip is 3-lobed and intense dark violet. The calyx starts out as simply a base to the flower, reddish-purple in shade, and then as the flower ages, it expands into its distinctive bag shape, 1-2 centimeter across, the dried flower eventually falling out of the hole in the end.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type

1.6 - 3.3 ft tall

Flower Color
Flower Color
White, Purple

Landscaping Information
Full Sun, Part Shade

Soil Drainage
Soil Drainage

Sunset Zones
Sunset Zones?
7, 8*, 9*, 10*, 11*, 12*, 13, 14*, 15, 16, 18, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22, 23

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Sandy gravelly slopes, washes,

Annual Precipitation: 3.0" - 36.3", Summer Precipitation: 0.33" - 3.75", Coldest Month: 38.7" - 62.2", Hottest Month: 57.9" - 89.3", Humidity: 3.49" - 42.83", Elevation: -190" - 7469"

Alternative Names
Common Names: Mexican Bladder Sage, Paper-bag Bush

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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