Silvery Lupine

Scientific Name:

Lupinus argenteus

Type:

Herbaceous Plant

Habitat:

Open spaces and forests

Range:

Most of western North America and the midwestern states of the US

Status:

Least Concern (IUCN Red List)

This species is

NATIVE

to the Truckee Meadows.

Identification:

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.

Fast Facts:

  • 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.

Sources:

Contributor(s):

Camille Verendia (research & content)

Alex Shahbazi (edits & page design)

Last Updated:

July 26, 2021, 8:48:26 PM