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Lupinus nanus

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About Sky Lupine (Lupinus nanus) Lupinus nanus ("Sky Lupine", "Field Lupine", "Dwarf Lupin" or "Douglas' Annual Lupine"), is a species in the Fabaceae (Legume) family native to the western United States. It grows abundantly in chaparral clearings and along slopes in California, Nevada, and eastern Oregon. In California it is most common in the Coast Ranges and Sierra foothills. As an annual, it is best grown from seed (see instructions below) and will self-sow.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb, Annual herb

Max. Height
0.33 - 2 ft (0.1 - 0.6 m)

Max. Width
1 ft (0.3 m)

Pyramidal, Spreading

Fragrant - Pleasant

Growth Rate

Summer Deciduous

Typical Lupine leaves

Flower Color
Blue, Lavender

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Openings in chapparal slopes near the coast and interior foothills


Elevation ?
-69' - 12692'

Annual Precip. ?
4.4" - 92.8"

Summer Precip. ?
0.13" - 2.39"

Coldest Month ?
19.6° F - 61.4° F

Hottest Month ?
41.4° F - 88.8° F

Humidity ?
0.30 vpd - 42.79 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerates sandy or clay soils

Soil Texture
Sandy Loam

Soil PH
5.4 - 7.7

Fast, Medium, Slow

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 30 degrees° F

Companion Plants
Use with medium size shrubs that won't overwhelm it, such as California Brittlebush (Encelia californica), Manzanita (Arctostaphylos sp.), Ceanothus sp. Redberry (Rhamnus crocea); with succulents such as Dudleya sp., Yucca (Hesperoyucca and Yucca sp.) and cacti; with other wildflowers such as California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica), Penstemon sp., Clarkia sp.; and with geophytes such as Wild Onioins (Allium sp.), Brodiaea sp., Mariposa Lily (Calochortus sp.), Dichelostemma sp.

Wildlife Attracted
native bees, butterflies, butterflies, hummingbirds

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Water Requirement ?
Very Low, Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: Fresh seeds need no treatment. Stored seeds scarification or hot water. No treatment may give fair germination.

Common uses
Bird Gardens, Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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