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Lupinus argenteus (Silvery lupine)
Cressler, Alan

Lupinus argenteus

Lupinus argenteus Pursh

Silvery Lupine, Silver-stem Lupine

Fabaceae (Pea Family)


USDA Symbol: luar3

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

The perennial silver-stem lupine bears from one to several, occasionally branched stems, each 1-2 ft. tall and covered with hairs. Stalked, palmately-compound, silvery-green leaves line the stems. Violet, pea-like flowers are arranged in a showy spike, up to 8 in. long, atop the stems. The flowers of silver-stem lupine are sometimes pink and rarely white. This species spreads quickly to form colonies.

Silvery 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.


From the Image Gallery

38 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Fruit Type: Legume
Size Notes: Up to about 2 feet tall.
Leaf: Gray-Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul


USA: AZ , CA , CO , ID , KS , MT , ND , NE , NM , NV , OK , OR , SD , UT , WA , WY
Canada: AB
Native Distribution: E.c. OR & n.e. CA to AZ, e. to Alt., w. ND, n.w. NE & NM
Native Habitat: Stream valleys; dry roadsides; rocky prairies; open pine woods

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Drought Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Rocky soils.


Use Wildlife: Silvery lupine in an important food source for butterflies.
Warning: Plants in the genus Lupinus, especially the seeds, can be toxic to humans and animals if ingested. Sensitivity to a toxin varies with a personís age, weight, physical condition, and individual susceptibility. Children are most vulnerable because of their curiosity and small size. Toxicity can vary in a plant according to season, the plantís different parts, and its stage of growth; and plants can absorb toxic substances, such as herbicides, pesticides, and pollutants from the water, air, and soil.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds , Hummingbirds

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees
Special Value to Bumble Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Description: Propagate by seed sown in fall.
Seed Collection: Seeds are produced in a hairy pod.
Seed Treatment: Scarify seed coats of stored seed.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

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

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

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

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter 1985 VOL. 2, NO.1 - A Glorious Spring, Lupines in Landscapes, Director's Report, Notable Quote, Wild...
Wildflower Newsletter 1990 VOL. 7, NO.4 - Research Update, Wild-Collecting Endangers Natives, Director's Report, Maryland ...

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2014-08-20
Research By: TWC Staff

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