E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Lupinus argenteus Pursh
silvery lupine
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jim Riley  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #32646)

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Distribution of Lupinus argenteus
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Lupinus argenteus var. laxiflorus

Species Information

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Perennial herb from a branching root-crown; stems erect, 40-70 cm tall, several, clustered, branched, covered with short, stiff, appressed or silky hairs, often greyish.
Basal leaves mostly withered or fallen by flowering time; stem leaves alternate, palmately compound, on stalks 2-8 cm long; leaflets 6 to 9, elliptic to linear-lanceolate, often folded, blunt to sharp-pointed at the tip, 2-4.5 cm long, silky or short-stiff-hairy below, glabrous or sparsely stiff-hairy above.
Inflorescence a terminal, slender raceme of numerous, more or less whorled, pea-like flowers; corollas blue to whitish, 8-10 mm long, the banner without a central hairy spot on the back, the wings glabrous, the keel fringed with hairs along the upper edges toward the tip; calyces silky, 2-lipped, the upper lip 2-toothed.
Pods, 1.5-3 cm long, densely silky-hairy; seeds 4 to 6, pinkish-grey to light brown, 4 mm long.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Summer
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Dry grasslands, shrublands and forest openings in the steppe and lower montane zones; rare in SC BC, known only from the S Okanagan Valley; E to SK and S to SD, NM and AZ.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Lupinus argenteus

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 370 1151 1660
Slope Gradient (%) 0 22 48
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
65 249 270
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 3 6
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BG(1), ESSF(1), IDF(1), MS(2)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Lupinus allimicranthus C.P. Sm.
Lupinus argenteus subsp. parviflorus (Nutt. ex Hook. & Arn.) L. Phillips
Lupinus argenteus var. moabensis (D. Dunn & Harmon) S.L. Welsh
Lupinus argenteus var. montigenus (A. Heller) Barneby
Lupinus argenteus var. parviflorus (Nutt. ex Hook. & Arn.) C.L. Hitchc.
Lupinus montigenus A. Heller

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References