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

Lupinus sericeus Pursh
silky lupine
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Adolf Ceska  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #11086)

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Distribution of Lupinus sericeus
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Lupinus sericeus var. sericeus

Species Information

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Perennial herb from a branching, woody stem-base; stems 1 to several, erect, 30-70 cm tall, sometimes branched above, silky-hairy throughout.
Basal and alternate along the stem, palmately compound; leaflets 5 to 9, oblanceolate, pointed or blunt at the tip, 3.5-6 cm long, covered with long silky hairs.
Inflorescence a stalked, terminal raceme, 10-20 cm long, of whorled pea-like flowers, the flower-stalks 3.5-6 mm long; corollas deep blue to lavender but sometimes pink or white, 11-13 mm long, the banner silky and with a white or yellow central patch on the back, the wings mostly glabrous, the keel fringed with hairs along the upper edges; calyces 2-lipped, the upper lip 2-toothed, the lower lip slightly longer, entire.
Pods, about 3 cm long, nearly 1 cm wide, densely silky-hairy; seeds 4 to 6, pinkish-brown.
Recognition of infraspecific taxa within this highly variable species does not appear warranted at this time.

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 sagebrush plains, bunchgrass slopes, cutbanks, and openings in thickets and forests in the steppe and lower montane zones; common in SC and SE BC; E to SW AB and S to NM, AZ and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Lupinus sericeus

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) 319 1195 2515
Slope Gradient (%) 0 32 360
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 195 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 7
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: AT(9), BAFA(1), BG(52), ESSF(187), ICH(83), IDF(327), IMA(2), MS(94), PP(107), 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 not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Lupinus sericeus var. kuschei (Eastw.) B. Boivin

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References