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

Lupinus sulphureus Douglas ex Hook.
sulphur lupine
Fabaceae (Pea family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Virginia Skilton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #24878)

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Distribution of Lupinus sulphureus
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a branched stem-base; stems erect, 40-80 cm tall, slender, mostly unbranched, appressed silky-hairy to short-stiff-hairy.
Basal and alternate along the stem, palmately compound; leaflets 8 to 13, narrowly oblanceolate, pointed at the tip, hairy on both surfaces, 2-5 cm long, on stalks equal to the leaflets except the lowermost, which are 3-5 times as long as the blades.
Inflorescence a terminal raceme of numerous, whorled or somewhat scattered, pea-like flowers, the racemes 12-20 cm long, 2-4 times as long as the stalks; corollas yellow, the banner glabrous or sparsely long-hairy on the back, the wings glabrous, the keel fringed with hairs along the upper edges; calyces 2-lipped, not spurred, upper lip 2-toothed, the lower lip entire.
Pods, 2-3 cm long, densely silky-hairy; seeds 4 to 5, pinkish-brown.

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 flats and forest openings in the steppe and lower montane zones; infrequent in SC and SE BC; S to E WA and E OR.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Lupinus sulphureus

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) 570 1120 1720
Slope Gradient (%) 8 26 43
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
90 209 300
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 2 5
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: BG(3), ESSF(3), IDF(1), MS(1), PP(2)


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 sulphureus subsp. kincaidii (C.P. Sm.) L. Phillips
Lupinus sulphureus subsp. subsaccatus (Suksd.) L. Phillips
Lupinus sulphureus subsp. sulphureus
Lupinus sulphureus var. applegateanus C.P. Sm.
Lupinus sulphureus var. echleranus C.P. Sm.
Lupinus sulphureus var. kincaidii (C.P. Sm.) C.L. Hitchc.
Lupinus sulphureus var. subsaccatus (Suksd.) C.L. Hitchc.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References