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Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Lupinus arboreus Sims
Yellow bush lupine, Bush lupine, Tree lupine
USDA Symbol: luar
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (I)
A 4-5 ft., shrub-like perennial with numerous short branches bearing silky, dark-green, palmately compound foliage. The pea-like flowers are usually yellow and occur on 6 in. spikes. Sometimes the flowers are lilac to blue or mixed. A large, round, bushy plant with palmately compound leaves and showy, sweet-scented, cone-like racemes of usually yellow pea flowers held just above the foliage at ends of short branches. Flowers occasionally violet or blue.
Lupines were once believed to be wolf-like, devouring soil nutrients (the genus name comes from Latin lupus, meaning wolf). In fact, they prefer poor soil, which they do not further deplete. Tree Lupine, one of the most handsome species in the genus, grows rapidly, and its deep roots make it an effective and beautiful stabilizer of shifting coastal dunes; portions of San Francisco that were once unstable sand were reclaimed by Tree Lupine. However, its effectiveness at stabilizing coastal dunes has led to its introduction and subsequent invasion of areas north of San Francisco Bay where the species has pushed out native species and formed monocultures. The California Invasive Plant Council has declared Tree Lupine an invasive species outside its native range.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Leaf:
Green Autumn Foliage:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow , Blue
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun
, WA Canada: BC Native Distribution:
Ventura to San Mateo Cos., CA; naturalized and invasive northward. Native Habitat:
Sandy, coastal places below 100 ft.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Sandy soils.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationDescription: The best method of propagation is by seed. Plant immediately or stratify.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Cold stratification, mechanical scarification or a hot water soak will enhance the germination of stored seeds.
Commercially Avail: yes
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
- Santa Barbara, CANative Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
Record Last Modified: 2010-07-10
Research By: TWC Staff