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

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Virginia Skilton     (Photo ID #24878)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Lupinus sulphureus
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


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.

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Early Summer
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Spring to Fall
Source:  The USDA


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)
1120 570 1720
Slope Gradient (%)
26 8 43

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

209 90 300
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 1 5
Modal Nutrient Regime
# 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)

Habitat and 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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


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.