Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or you can choose a plant family:
Thermopsis montana (Mountain goldenbanner)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Thermopsis montana

Thermopsis montana Nutt.

Mountain Goldenbanner, Montane Golden-banner, Golden Pea, Buckbean

Fabaceae (Pea Family)


USDA Symbol: THMO6

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

This perennialís slender, 16-32 in. stems, purplish with a white coating, are slightly branched above and bear three-parted leaves. Yellow, lupine-like flowers occur in dense to interrupted clusters 4-12 in. long. Flowers are followed by velvety pods. A number of varieties are separated largely on the amount of pubescence present on the foliage. A plant with one or several hollow stems, slightly or not at all hairy, and yellow "pea flowers" in long racemes in upper leaf axils.

This genus resembles the Lupines, but Thermopsis has only 3 leaflets on each leaf; Lupinus has more. Yellow Peas, while handsome plants, are suspected of being poisonous. Among the several western species, some quite hairy, Prairie Thermopsis (T. rhombifolia), which grows on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains and on the northwestern plains, has pods that spread outward from the curve or coil.


From the Image Gallery

2 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Fruit Type: Legume
Size Notes: Up to about 32 inches tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: AZ , CO , ID , MT , NM , NV , OR , UT , WA , WY
Native Distribution: B.C. to n. CA, e. to the Rockies of MT & CO
Native Habitat: Well-drained, stony or sandy flats

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Description: Dry to wet, rocky or sandy soils.


Description: This plant is best propagated by seeds.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

Status: FAC FAC
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

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

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR


Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2010-05-01
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back