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Thermopsis macrophylla

Thermopsis macrophylla Hook. & Arn.

Santa Inez Goldenbanner, Large-leaf Golden-banner, False Lupine, California False Lupine

Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Synonym(s): Thermopsis macrophylla var. agnina, Thermopsis macrophylla var. macrophylla

USDA Symbol: THMA2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

The creeping rootstocks of large-leaf golden-banner or false lupine send up stout, leafy stems 18-24 in. tall with spike-like racemes of yellow, lupine-like flowers. The leaves of this perennial are divided into three fuzzy leaflets.

California False Lupine is a member of the pea family (Fabaceae), which includes trees, shrubs, herbs, and vines with compound or occasionally simple leaves and flowers usually in clusters. Taken as a single family, there are about 640 genera and 17,000 species This enormous family, also known as the bean or legume family, includes many economically important genera: Peas belong to the genus Pisum; beans to Phaseolus; soybeans to Glycine; peanuts to Arachis; lentils to Lens; and chickpeas (garbanzos) to Cicer. Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and clover species (Trifolium) provide forage for domestic livestock, but many other species are poisonous range weeds. Exotic hardwoods and gum arabic are provided by tropical trees belonging to this family, and numerous members are cultivated as handsome ornamentals. The traditional family name, Leguminosae, reflects some of the family’s importance (in Latin it refers to “plants with seedpods,” and in French légume means “vegetable”). The family is sometimes split into three smaller families, each distinguished by one of the three flower types: the Fabaceae, Mimosaceae, and Caesalpiniaceae. The fruit, an important feature, is similar in all three.


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun


Native Distribution: CA Coast Ranges from Ventura Co., n. to OR
Native Habitat: Open woods; rocky meadows

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Dry, rocky soils.


Description: Propagate by root division or seed.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: A hot water treatment is necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA

Additional resources

USDA: Find Thermopsis macrophylla in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Thermopsis macrophylla in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Thermopsis macrophylla


Record Modified: 2013-12-16
Research By: TWC Staff

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