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

Lupinus rivularis Douglas ex Lindl.
streambank lupine (riverbank lupine)
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Brian Klinkenberg  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #14523)

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Distribution of Lupinus rivularis
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Streambank lupine is a native coastal lupine species found in North America along the Pacific Coast, from California north to southwestern British Columbia (USDA 2010). It is found in disturbed sandy-gravelly sites at lower elevations (lowland zone in BC) (Douglas et al. 1998; Hitchcock and Cronquist 1973; Riggins and Sholars 1993; Sholars 2009 pers. comm.), including gravelly prairies, riverbanks and open woods (Hitchcock and Cronquist 1973). It was first reported from British Columbia in 1926, where it was collected by Anderson along the lower Sooke River on Vancouver Island. Populations have now been found in the Lower Mainland, in Coquitlam, Delta, Richmond and Surrey.

Species Information

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Perennial herb from a branched, somewhat woody stem-base that persists through the winter; stems several, decumbent to ascending, 40-60 cm long/tall, hollow, glabrous or slightly hairy.
Alternate, palmately compound; leaflets 6 to 9, narrowly oblanceolate, rounded to blunt with an abrupt point at the tip, glabrous above, thinly hairy below, 2.5-5 cm long, the leaf stalks from shorter than to as long as the leaflets.
Inflorescence a terminal raceme of several well-separated whorls of pea-like flowers, the racemes 12-25 cm long on stalks 5-9 cm long; corollas blue-purple to lavender, whitish near the base, 12-16 mm long, the banner circular and glabrous, about the same length as the glabrous wings and the keel, which is fringed with hairs along the upper edges; calyces with swollen base above, about equally 2-lipped, the upper lip 2-toothed, the lower lip boat-shaped, entire to slightly toothed.
Pods, to 5 cm long, minutely hairy; seeds 6 to 10, greyish with dark mottling.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Wet to moist meadows and riverbanks in the lowland zone; rare on S Vancouver Island and in the lower Fraser Valley; S to N CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Additional Notes


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 caudiciferus Eastw.
Lupinus columbianus A. Heller
Lupinus confusus A. Heller, non Rose
Lupinus cytisoides J. Agardh
Lupinus lasiotropis Greene ex Eastw.
Lupinus latifolius var. columbianus (A. Heller) C.P. Sm.
Lupinus latifolius var. ligulatus (Greene) C.P. Sm.
Lupinus lignipes A. Heller
Lupinus ligulatus Greene
Lupinus perennis subsp. latifolius (Lindl. ex J. Agardh) L. Phillips
Lupinus rivularis var. latifolius (Lindl. ex J. Agardh) Jeps.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

Species References

Douglas, G.W., G.B. Straley, D.V. Meidinger, and J. Pojar (editors). 1998. Illustrated Flora of British Columbia. Volume 2: Dicotyledons (Balsaminaceae Through Cucurbitaceae). B.C. Ministry of Environment, Lands & Parks and B.C. Ministry of Forests. Victoria.

Hitchcock, C. Leo and Arthur Cronquist. 1973. Flora of the Pacific Northwest. University of Washington Press, Seattle.

Riggins and Sholars. Lupinus rivularis. In: Hickman, James C. The Jepson Manual of the Higher Plants of California. University of California Press, Los Angeles.

Sholars, Teresa. 2003, 2009. Personal communication. E-mails and telephone conversations.

USDA. 2010. Plant profile for Lupinus rivularis. United States Department of Agriculture Plants Database. Available Online.

General References