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This is a native species.

Lupinus caespitosus

Lupinus caespitosus

Lupinus caespitosus

Lupinus caespitosus

Lupinus caespitosus

Lupinus caespitosus

Lupinus caespitosus. Synonyms: Lupinus lepidus subspecies caespitosus and Lupinus lepidus variety utahensis. (Matted Lupine)
Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Foothills, montane.  Meadows, openings.  Summer.
Sanborn Park Road, Uncompahgre National Forest, May 31, 2014 and May 31, 2013.

Lupinus caespitosus enjoys dry sunny meadows, and is even sometimes called "Prairie Lupine".  The plant grows from just one to four+ inches tall, with usually stemless flowers tucked within the leaves which are mainly basal, hairy, folded or not, and typically on long petioles. Flower clusters (racemes) have from 12-85 flowers and are from a miniature 1 centimeter to 23 centimeters long.

Where you spot one plant, you will usually spot a number scattered nearby. See the top photograph on this page. Spotting the first plant is the trick, since they are often so low to the ground and inconspicuous.

Cronquist in Intermountain Flora lists dozens of synonyms for Lupinus caespitosus and both he and Welsh settle on Lupinus lepidus variety utahensis as the name of the plant shown here; Weber accepts Lupinus lepidus variety caespitosus. Kartesz, the ultimate authority for all plant names on this website, indicates that the name should be L. caespitosus.

"Caespitosus" means "growing in tufts".

Thomas Nuttall collected the first specimens of this plant for science in "grassy vallies of the Rocky Mountains, on the Sweet Water of the Platte and the Colorado", probably in 1834 and it was described by Torrey and Gray in 1840.

Lupinus caespitosus

Lupinus caespitosus

Lupinus caespitosus. Synonyms: Lupinus lepidus subspecies caespitosus and Lupinus lepidus variety utahensis. (Matted Lupine)
Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Foothills, montane.  Meadows, openings.  Summer.
Sanborn Park Road, Uncompahgre National Forest, May 31, 2013.

The two photographs at left were taken from above the plants and you can see their lovely symmetry.

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

Lupinus caespitosus

Range map for Lupinus caespitosus