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

Lupinus polyphyllus Lindl.
Large-leaved Lupine (bigleaf lupine; big-leaved lupine)
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Brian Klinkenberg  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #20129)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Lupinus polyphyllus
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a branched, somewhat rhizomatous stem-base; stems erect, up to 1.5 m tall, generally unbranched, cylindric-hollow at the base, usually nearly glabrous but sometimes soft- or stiff-hairy.
Basal (a few) and alternate along the stem, palmately compound, the stalks of the basal leaves often much longer than those of the stem leaves; leaflets 9 to 17, elliptic-oblanceolate, pointed at the tip, 3-12 cm long, glabrous above, sparsely stiff-hairy below.
Inflorescence a dense, stalked, terminal raceme, up to 40 cm long, of whorled or somewhat scattered, pea-like flowers; corollas bluish to violet, glabrous, 11-16 mm long, the banner nearly circular and slightly shorter than the wings; calyces about equally 2-lipped, both lips entire or minutely toothed.
Pods, curved, densely long-soft-hairy, 3-5 cm long; seeds 6 to 10, greyish with dark mottling.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to mesic meadows, riverbars, streambanks, seashores, clearings, roadsides, glades and open forests in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; frequent in SW, SC and WC BC, less frequent northward; N to SE AK and S to ID and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Lupinus polyphyllus

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) 0 975 1817
Slope Gradient (%) 0 12 53
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
6 236 350
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 4 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: CWH(11), ESSF(4), IDF(1), MS(1), SBPS(2), SBS(7), SWB(1)


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.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References