Open spaces and forests
Most of western North America and the midwestern states of the US
Least Concern (IUCN Red List)
This species is
to the Truckee Meadows.
Silvery lupines generally reach heights of 1 to 2 feet, but can be found as tall as 5 feet. Leaves are arranged palmately with 5 to 11 leaflets, and are gray-green in color.1,4 The leaves are around 2.5 inches long and 0.5 inches wide, and are usually silvery-hairy on the underside. Flowers are generally blue to purple in color, but can also be pink and white. The flower color varies depending on soil type. The fruit is a hairy legume pod.
The genus name Lupinus comes from the latin word for wolf, because it was once thought that they absorb all the nutrients in the soil. This was an incorrect assumption, and it is now known that lupines are efficient nitrogen fixers.
The seed and seed pods contain toxic alkaloids that may be harmful to wildlife and humans.
Silvery lupines are an Important food source for butterflies and native bumblebees.
Silvery lupines are found in a range of habitats including sagebrush, grassland, and forest ecosystems. They can also grow along dry roadsides. The plant is tolerant of a variety of soils including sandy, loamy, and clay soils.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Lupinus argentus, 2014, https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=luar3
Calscape, Silvery Lupine, https://calscape.org/Lupinus-argenteus-()
Great Basin Seed, Silvery Lupine, 2021, https://greatbasinseeds.com/product/silvery-lupine/
Wildflowers of the United States, Silvery Lupine, Silver Stem Lupine - Lupinus argenteus, 2019, https://uswildflowers.com/detail.php?SName=Lupinus%20argenteus
The Spruce, How to Grow Lupines, 2021, https://www.thespruce.com/growing-lupine-flowers-1316034
IUCN Red List, Lupinus argenteus, 2021, https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/19892530/20097017
Image: Alan, https://www.flickr.com/photos/adavey/457246711, license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/, cropped from original.
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