Lupine (9)

Lupine are a common showy bloom. They are characterized by their divided leaves, spreading like the fingers of a hand, and their tall spikes of pea-shaped flowers. Most lupine have finely hairy stems and leaves. Stems and leaf stalks are often reddish. They often hybridize making accurate identification difficult. There are differences of opinion on identification amongst the experts. These are some that have unique features or growth habits based on what I have read. See also Dwarf Lupine.

Lupinus argenteus

Silvery Lupine
Lupinus argenteus

Family: Pea (Fabaceae)
AKA:
Photo taken on: August 2, 2008
Location: Farris Creek, GV, CO
Life Zones: Foothills to subalpine
Habitat: Sunny meadows, roadsides

Grows from 1 to 3 feet tall in masses. The height and density of the foliage varies by site and moisture. Leaves have 5 to 11 leaflets which are sometimes hairless on the upper surface. It blooms later in the season than L. caudatus.  It has many variations in its characteristics about which the experts disagree and at least 11 varieties have been described. arrow

Lupinus argenteus

Flowers range from pale blue to purple and can be bi-colored, white or pink.

 

Lupinus argenteus

Lupinus caudatus

Tailcup Lupine
Lupinus caudatus

Family: Pea (Fabaceae)
AKA: Spurred Lupine
Photo taken on: June 25, 2005
Location: Ditch Trail, GV, CO
Life Zones: Foothills to subalpine
Habitat: Meadows, open aspen woods

A common lupine growing to 2 feet high in clumps. Leaves have 5 to 9 narrow leaflets up to 2" long, narrower than L. argenteus. Lower leaves are often withered by bloom time. Flower spike is 3-6" long. Flowers are violet-blue. Flower wings are hairless, banner is upright and has silky hairs on the back. Of course, this could be another variety of L. argenteus.

Lupinus bakeri bakeri

Baker's Lupine
Lupinus bakeri bakeri

Family: Pea (Fabaceae)
AKA: Blue Bonnet
Photo taken on: July 29, 2004
Location: Almont, CO
Life Zones: Foothills to montane
Habitat: Meadows, sagebrush

Grows in clumps to 2 feet with reddish stems. Leaves are soft and bluish-green. Flowers are bluish purple and small, a ¼".

Lupinus argenteus ingratus

Silvery Lupine
Lupinus argenteus ssp. ingratus

Family: Pea (Fabaceae)
AKA:
Photo taken on: July 20, 2009
Location: SR 165, Eastern CO
Life Zones: Plains to foothills
Habitat: Dry open spaces, roadsides

Grows to 3 feet with leaves that are silvery underneath. Flowers are white to lavender.

Lupinus parviflorus

Lodgepole Lupine
Lupinus parviflorus

Family: Pea (Fabaceae)
AKA:
Photo taken on: June 27, 2006
Location: Almont, CO
Life Zones: Foothills to subalpine
Habitat: Meadows, aspen groves, slopes

Grows to 32" tall with a silvery, hairy stem. The bracts are hairy. There are up to 11 folded leaflets which are bright green on top and silvery and hairy beneath. Flowers are less than ½" long. Seedpods have 4 or fewer seeds.

Lupinus polyphyllus var. prunophilus

Chokecherry Lupine
Lupinus polyphyllus var. prunophilus (L. prunophilus)

Family: Pea (Fabaceae)
AKA:
Photo taken on: July 1, 2009
Location: Deer Creek, GV, CO
Life Zones: Foothills and montane
Habitat: Woodlands. open areas

Grows to 32" with reddish hairy stems. Leaves have 7 to 11 narrow leaflets which are often rolled inwards and only hairy underneath.  Flower heads are quite dense and flowers are blue.

Lupinus pusillus

Rusty Lupine
Lupinus pusillus

Family: Pea (Fabaceae)
AKA: Low Lupine, Small Lupine
Photo taken on: May 10, 2010
Location: Little Wildhorse Canyon, UT
Life Zones: Foothills
Habitat: Sandy, gravelly areas

Grows 3" to 9" high covered in long hairs. Leaves have 5 to 7 rounded, one inch long, leaflets. Flowers are deep blue.

Lupinus sericeus

Silky Lupine
Lupinus sericeus

Family: Pea (Fabaceae)
AKA: Pursh's Silky Lupine
Photo taken on: July 8, 2016
Location: Rainbow Lake, GV, CO
Life Zones: Foothills to subalpine
Habitat: Dry rocky slopes, open woods

Grows 8" to 20" high covered in long silky hairs. Leaves have 7 to 9 narrow leaflets. Flowers are densely clustered and range from light blue to purple. The calyx, which cups the flower, and the back of the upright banner are densely hairy.

Lupinus plattensis

Nebraska Lupine
Lupinus plattensis

Family: Pea (Fabaceae)
AKA: Platte Lupine, Dark-eyed Lupine, Plains Bluebonnet
Photo taken on: May 29, 2016
Location: Wet Mountains, Eastern CO
Life Zones: Plains and foothills
Habitat: Meadows, roadsides

Grows low and creeping to 16" high. Leaflets are folded and covered in soft hairs. Flowers have striped keels and a dark purple band on the front of the banner.

Blue/Purple Long Clusters | White/Cream Long Clusters |  Pink Long Clusters