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.
If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.
Illustration Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia
Present from Spring to Fall
Source: The USDA
||Value / Class
Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
of field plots
species was recorded in:
BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in
Source: Klinkenberg 2013
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.
In B.C., Lupinus minimus has been included in Lupinus lepidus but is now recognized as a separate species and can be distinguished by its range, which includes the Columbia River drainage and Alberta. In B.C., Lupinus lyallii, Lupinus kuschei, and Lupinus wyethii are all similar to Lupinus lepidus var. lepidus in that they are less than 50 cm tall and have blue flowers and densely hairy leaves. Only L. lepidus var. lepidus is found in coastal lowlands on southeastern Vancouver Island. L. lyallii occurs in subalpine/alpine areas in the Coastal and Cascade mountains. L. kuschei is a montane species found in northern B.C. L. wyethii occurs in the steppe/montane zones of southern B.C.
Source: British Columbia Conservation Data Centre