Summary of bladderpod and its traditional use

Kumeyaay name: ‘epshash

Bladderpod (Isomeris arborea, aka Peritoma arborea)


Bladderpod is a perennial shrub native to mostly southern California and Baja California. It can be found in habitats ranging from costal bluffs to desert arroyos. The sage colored, oval leaves are made up of three leaflets. Bright yellow flower clusters appear at the end of the stems in the winter and spring. The green fruit is an inflated capsule that is edible. It attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. The public has mixed views on the plants fragrance with opinions ranging from pleasant to extremely unpleasant.


The Kumeyaay boil the flower several time to remove the bitterness before consuming.