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

Lupinus lepidus Douglas ex Lindl.
prairie lupine (Pacific lupine)
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Hans Roemer  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #26139)

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Distribution of Lupinus lepidus
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a woody stem-base; stems several, slender, tufted, decumbent to erect, 20-45 cm tall, silky and with some longer ascending hairs.
Mostly basal with stalks 10-16 cm long, a few alternate along the stem, palmately compound; leaflets 6 to 10, oblanceolate, pointed at the tip, 1-5 cm long, 2-7 mm wide, mostly folded, silky on both surfaces.
Inflorescence a terminal raceme, about as long as its stalk, of whorled pea-like flowers; corollas blue, white or lavender, 10-13 mm long, the banner egg-shaped to nearly circular, glabrous, the wings glabrous, rather narrow, the keel fringed with hairs along the upper edges; calyces 2-lipped, the upper lip 2-toothed, cleft for at least 1/2 its length, both lips 5-7 mm long.
Pods, 1-3 cm long, stiff-hairy; seeds 2 to 4.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

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

Habitat / Range

Dry gravelly openings and rock outcrops in the lowland zone; rare on SE Vancouver Island; S to NW OR.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Lupinus lepidus

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) 1875 2186 2470
Slope Gradient (%) 0 22 55
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
23 245 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 1 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), IMA(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 cool temperate & cool mesothermal.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Lupinus aridus var. cusickii (S. Watson) C.P. Sm.
Lupinus lepidus subsp. aridus (Douglas) Detling
Lupinus lepidus subsp. cusickii (S. Watson) Detling
Lupinus lepidus var. aridus (Douglas) Jeps.
Lupinus lepidus var. cusickii (S. Watson) C.L. Hitchc.
Lupinus lepidus var. lepidus
Lupinus longivallis C.P. Sm.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References