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Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs


Other Common Names Include: Lesquerella, Fendler's bladderpod, yellowtop

Latin Name: Physaria fendleri (formerly Lesquerella fendleri)

Plant Family: Brassicaceae

Close Relatives: Other members of the mustard family (e.g.  broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, turnip, rapeseed, etc.)

Uses and Markets: Industrial; oil contains the lesquerolic acid, a hydroxy fatty acid which has potential use in the manufacture of cosmetics, coatings, plastics, and lubricants, Seed coat contains a unique gum which could be used in cosmetics, plasticizers, lubricants, thickening agents etc.

Production Life Cycle in Ontario


Hardiness Zone


Special Notes

P. fendleri is native to the American southwest where it has been cultivated as a winter annual.  It can only survive winter temperatures to -5°C, so must be grown as a summer annual in Ontario.  It is adapted to growth in low water environments.

Propagation method

Broadcast seed at 8-12 kg/ha.

Greenhouse Seeding/Propagation Dates


Field Seeding Date:

Late March

Field Transplanting Dates


In-row spacing


Between row spacing


Optimal Soil temperature at planting



No current Ontario fertility recommendations exist. Research and recommendations from outside Ontario do not necessarily apply to Ontario growing conditions. Research from the southern U.S. indicates lesquerella yields increase with application of nitrogen fertilizer up to 100kg/ha.  Click here for phosphorus and potassium application guidelines and for more information on specialty crop fertility.

Soil type

Well drained, sandy loam soils

Soil pH

pH 6.5-8

Special requirements for growth habit

Maximum yields are obtained when flowering occurs before the hottest days of the summer.

Optimal Temperature Range


Temperature sensitivity

Frost tolerant.

Irrigation requirements

Irrigation usually not required under normal Ontario conditions.  A moist soil surface is critical for consistent germination.

Days to harvest

150 (estimate for Ontario).

Specialized equipment

Seed cleaning equipment that is suitable for small seed (1700/g).

Harvest Scheduling

Single harvest when seeds turn brown (moisture content below 12%).

Hand harvest or machine harvest

Machine harvest

Quality parameters/grades

Quality based on final seed moisture.

Additional Harvest Notes

Seed can be directly combined or the plants can be windrowed to drying prior to combining.

Post harvest
Special handling/curing

Seed moisture must be below 9%.

Storage Conditions

Relative humidity (RH): Low

Temperature: Cool

Air Exchange: N/A

Duration: N/A

Specific pests observed on this crop in Ontario (observations based on limited experience with this crop)

None identified in Ontario to date.

Other Potential Pests: The following pests have not been observed on this crop in Ontario. However, they are either significant concerns for closely related plants in Ontario, or are reported on this crop in other production areas. This is not a comprehensive list of all potential pests. Not all of these pests will necessarily survive Ontario’s climate, but could potentially survive in a protected environment (e.g. greenhouse, storage facility).

Insects and Invertebrates: Lygus bugs, harlequin bugs, chinch bugs, aphids

Diseases: None identified due to limited large scale production to date

*Indicates pests commonly mentioned as causing significant damage or economic loss to this crop in other regions. 


To date the following pests have been the most significant in Ontario: n/a – limited production in Ontario to date.  Pests of canola and other oilseeds in Ontario may affect this crop.  Good weed control is critical throughout the production cycle of this crop – weed competition early in the season can greatly affect yields due to the slow establishment of this crop, while weed populationss later in the season can affect operation of harvest equipment.   There are few to no pest control products registered on this crop. While some species of Lesquerella are included in crop groups, the species referred to in this profile is not in a crop group.   For more information on Crop Groups, refer to the Pest section.  Some pesticides may be registered on this crop.  For more information, consult an OMAFRA specialist.

Additional Notes


Ontario Research Projects Used to Create This Profile


  1. Coates, W.  1994.  Mechanical harvesting of lesquerella.  Industrial Crops and Products.  2:245-250.
  2. Dierig, D., A.E. Thompson and F.S. Nakayama.  1993.  Lesquerella commercialization efforts in the United States.  Industrial Crops and Products. 1:289-293.
  3. Dierig, D., 1995.  Lesquerella.  Purdue University New Crop FactSHEET. 
  4. Dierig, D.A., G. Wang, W.B. McCloskey, K.R. Thorp, T.A. Isbell, D.T. Ray and M.A. Foster.  2011.  Lesquerella:  New crop development and commercialization in the U.S.  Industrial Crops and Products.  34:1381-1385
  5. Dierig, D.A., G. Wang and S.J. Crafts-Brander.  2012.  Dynamics of reproductive growth of lesquerella (Physaria fendleri) over different planting dates.  Industrial Crops and Products.  35:146-153.
  6. Hunsaker, D.J., F.S. Nakayama, D.A. Dierig and W.L. Alexander.  1998.  Lesquerella seed production:  Water requirement and management.  Industrial Crops and Products.  8:167-182.