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

Lupinus kuschei Eastw.
Yukon lupine (Kusche's lupine)
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Ryan Batten  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #66649)

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Distribution of Lupinus kuschei
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The Yukon lupine is endemic to northern BC, the Yukon and Alaska, with most plants found in southwestern Yukon and three disjunct locations found in northwest Alaska (BC Conservation Data Centre 2010). It is a densely silky hairy, perennial, blue (blue-purple) flowered species. The BC Species and Ecosystem Explorer Species Summary provides a comparison with similar species. This species shows preference for sandy and gravelly habitats, including sand dunes, river terraces, floodplains and sandy woods (BC Conservation Data Centre 2010).


BC Conservation Data Centre. 2010. Species Summary: Lupinus kuschei. BC Ministry of Environment. Available Online.

Species Information

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Perennial herb from a woody stem-base; entire plant except the corollas densely silvery silky-hairy; stems decumbent to erect, few to several, tufted, 15-50 cm long/tall.
Alternate, palmately compound, stalks of lower leaves 4-15 cm long, 2-3 times longer than the upper leaves; leaflets 5 to 9, elliptic-oblanceolate, pointed at the tip, 1.5-5 cm long.
Inflorescence a dense, stalked, terminal raceme, 3-10 cm long, of whorled pea-like flowers; corollas blue to bluish purple, 10-13 mm long, the banner nearly circular with a yellow central patch; calyces 2-lipped, the upper lip 4-6 mm long, 2-lobed, the slender lower lip 5-7 mm long, 3-toothed.
Pods, 2-3 cm long, silky; seeds 4 to 6.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry, sandy, gravelly or rocky openings, and open lodgepole pine forests in the montane zone, also alpine pumice fields (Mt. Edziza); rare in N BC; endemic to BC and YT.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Lupinus kuschei

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) 1533 1976 2140
Slope Gradient (%) 17 31 45
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
90 119 148
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 3 4
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(3)


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 sericeus var. kuschei (Eastw.) Boivin

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References