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Lupinus prunophilus
 
Lupinus prunophilus. Synonym: Lupinus polyphyllus var. prunophilus (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 tall, 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 variety prunophyllus, some indicate variety ammophilys.

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).

Kartesz indicates that L. polyphyllus is a west coast species.

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

Click for more Lupinus prunophilus photographs. 

Lupinus prunophilus

Lupinus prunophilus. Synonym: Lupinus polyphyllus var. prunophilus.  (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. Synonym: Lupinus polyphyllus var. prunophilus (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.

Click to see Lupinus argenteus which has its banners recurved above its mid-point.

Lupinus prunophilus

Lupinus prunophilus. Synonym: Lupinus polyphyllusvar. prunophilus (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.

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