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

Lupinus arbustus Douglas ex Lindl.
longspur lupine (grassland lupine (ssp. neolaxiflorus); Montana lupine (ssp. pseudoparviflorus); spurred lupine)
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Virginia Skilton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #34100)

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Distribution of Lupinus arbustus
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Lupinus arbustus ssp. pseudoparviflorus

Species Information

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Perennial herb from a woody stem-base; stems erect to spreading, 20-60 cm tall, several, clumped, simple or somewhat branched, mostly fine silky-hairy.
Basal and alternate along the stem, palmately compound on long stalks (the lower stalks 2-4 times as long as the blades but the upper ones 1/2 as long); leaflets 7 to 11, oblanceolate to narrowly oblong, rounded to sharp-pointed at the tip, 3-6 cm long, equally hairy on both sides or glabrous above.
Inflorescence a terminal raceme of numerous, whorled, pea-like flowers, the racemes 3-12 cm long on stalks 2-8 cm long; corollas blue to violet, sometimes whitish, 8-14 mm long on stalks 3-5 (10) mm long, the banner finely hairy on the central area of the back, the wings glabrous or hairy near the tip, the keel usually fringed with hairs on the upper edges; calyces 2-lipped, the upper lip 2-toothed at the tip and with a short (to 1.5 mm) spur or swelling at the base, the lower lip entire.
Pods, 2-3.5 cm long, 6-9 mm wide, silky or long soft-hairy; seeds 3 to 6, pinkish-brown.
Two subspecies are recognized in BC:

1. Leaflets hairy above, sometimes only sparsely so, linear-elliptic to oblanceolate, usually less than 6 mm wide................ ssp. neolaxiflorus Dunn

1. Leaflets hairless or nearly so above, oblanceolate, 6-10 mm wide.................. ssp. pseudoparviflorus (Rydb.) Dunn

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry meadows, gravelly ridges, rocky slopes, sagebrush-steppe, and open forests in the steppe and lower montane zones (ssp. neolaxiflorus); moist forests in the montane zone (ssp. pseudoparviflorus); both subspecies rare in extreme S BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; S to MT and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Lupinus arbustus

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) 1570 1665 1760
Slope Gradient (%) 25 37 50
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
230 234 240
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 0 1
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: ESSF(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.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References