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Lupinus prunophilus
 
Lupinus prunophilus. Synonyms: Lupinus polyphyllus var. prunophilus, Lupinus polyphyllus var. ammophilus; Lupinus ammophilus (Chokecherry Lupine)
Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Foothills. Woodlands, openings. Spring, summer.
Lone Mesa State Park, May 14, 2009.

Such Lupine as the one pictured on this page are among the most robust, thickly flowering wild plants.  They flower in wet and dry areas for extended periods.  But they are often quite difficult to precisely identify.  The pictured Lupinus prunophilus has a number of characteristics that vary enough to produce numerous varieties.  In addition, the characteristics that separate this species from several other perennial, upright, robust species of Lupine, such as, L. sericeus and L. bakeri are not markedly different.  All of this makes for difficult times in identifying the exact species.

Most of the floras available for the Four Corners region call this species Lupinus polyphyllus, but they do not agree on the characteristics of this species, nor do they agree on which characteristics separate this species from others. Some floras indicate that the pictured species is Lupinus polyphyllus variety prunophilus, some indicate variety ammophilus. John Kartesz indicates that L. polyphyllus is a west coast species. The Flora of the Four Corners Region indicates that our species is Lupinus polyphyllus with three varieties: Lupinus polyphyllus var. ammophilus; Lupinus polyphyllus var. humicola; Lupinus polyphyllus var. prunophilus.

Lupinus prunophilus was named by M. E. Jones in 1910 from a collection he made in the same year in Utah. Lupinus polyphyllus was named by Lindley in 1827 from plants raised from seeds collected by David Douglas (of Douglas Fir fame).

"Polyphyllus" means "many-leaved" and "prunophilus" means "Choke Cherry loving".

Click for more Lupinus prunophilus photographs. 

Lupinus prunophilus

Lupinus prunophilus. Synonyms: Lupinus polyphyllusvar. prunophilus, Lupinus polyphyllus var. ammophilus;Lupinus ammophilus (Chokecherry Lupine)
Fabaceae (Pea Family)
 

Foothills. Woodlands, openings. Spring, summer.
Lone Mesa State Park, May 14, 2009.

Most leaves on this plant were rolled inward.

Lupinus prunophilus

Lupinus prunophilus. Synonyms: Lupinus polyphyllusvar. prunophilus, Lupinus polyphyllus var. ammophilus; Lupinus ammophilus (Chokecherry Lupine)
Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Foothills. Woodlands, openings. Spring, summer.
Lone Mesa State Park, May 14, 2009.

Look at the flowers at the two and five o'clock positions and you will see a characteristic that botanical keys use to separate Lupine species: The banner (the upright petal with the white center) is bent upward ("recurved") near its mid-point, i.e., about half of the banner clasps the wings (the horizontal light purple petal) and about half of the banner sticks up in the air above the wings. This arrangement leaves a wide gap between the wings and the upward curved part of the banner.

Click to see Lupinus argenteus which has its banners recurved above its mid-point, thus leaving a narrow gap between the wings and the upward curved part of the banner.

Lupinus prunophilus

Lupinus prunophilus. Synonyms: Lupinus polyphyllusvar. prunophilus, Lupinus polyphyllus var. ammophilus; Lupinus ammophilus (Chokecherry Lupine)
Fabaceae (Pea Family)
 

Foothills. Woodlands, openings. Spring, summer.
Lone Mesa State Park, May 14, 2009.

Hairiness varies: A few leaves that I examined on this plant were hairy both on their upper and lower surfaces; but almost all were more typical of the leaves of this species: hairy only on their lower surface.

The photograph also shows the hairiness of the stem. You can see the silvery glow of the hairs at the side of the stem.

Lupinus prunophilus

Lupinus prunophilus

Lupinus prunophilus

Lupinus prunophilus. Synonyms: Lupinus polyphyllusvar. prunophilus, Lupinus polyphyllus var. ammophilus; Lupinus ammophilus (Chokecherry Lupine)
Fabaceae (Pea Family)
 

Foothills. Woodlands, openings. Spring, summer.
Nature Center at Butler Corner, May 21, 2017.

This short form (only one to two feet tall) of Lupinus prunophilus spreads by rhizomes and as a result dozens of plants are found close to each other.

Flower stems are numerous and dozens of showy flowers ascend the stems.

Stems rise above a base of many long-petioled, large leaves with 5-10 leaflets. The upper side of the leaflets is almost glabrous and the lower side has scattered long hairs.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Lupinus prunophilus