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Coastal Bush Lupine
Lupinus arboreus
About Coastal Bush Lupine (Lupinus arboreus) Nurseries Show All Photos Yellow Bush or Coast Lupine is a species Fabaceae (Legume) family native to the western United States in California and Oregon, where it is widely distributed coastal scrub and sand dunes. Because it has been widely introduced, there is some uncertainty about its native range; it is thought to be native from Point Reyes National Seashore south to San Luis Obispo County. It is also considered somewhat invasive and has likely spread well out of its original range, especially around Humboldt Bay (see California Invasive Plant Council). It is a perennial shrub growing to 2 meters tall (hence the alternative common name, tree lupine) in sheltered situations, but more typically 1-1.5 meters tall. It has green to gray-green palmate leaves, with 5-12 leaflets per leaf. The leaflets are 2-6 centimeters long, often sparsely covered with fine silky hairs. It is capable of tolerating temperatures down to -12C and living for up to seven years. Both yellow and lilac to purple flowering forms are known; however, the yellow form is more common, except in the north of the species' range. There is one recognized variety, San Mateo Tree Lupine (var. eximius) which has lavender flowers and is limited to San Mateo and Marin Counties.

Yellow Bush Lupine requires fast draining soil and prefers full sun. It prefers to grow on bluffs, dunes and slopes, and grows quickly and aggressively. Although it is easy to grow and showy, it should not be planted where it might invade wild areas or where it cannot be controlled.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
3.5 - 7 ft (1.1 - 2.1 m)

Max. Width
4 ft (1.2 m)


Growth Rate
Fast, Moderate


Flower Color
Yellow, Lavender

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Bluffs, dunes and slopes


Elevation ?
-123' - 5560'

Annual Precip. ?
10.8" - 76.4"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 2.52"

Coldest Month ?
41.0° F - 55.5° F

Hottest Month ?
56.5° F - 78.2° F

Humidity ?
0.01 vpd - 25.97 vpd

Soil Description
Typically sandy soil

Soil PH
4.0 - 7.0


Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to -12° F

Sunset Zones ?
4*, 5*, 14, 15*, 16*, 17*, 19, 21, 22*, 23*, 24*

Companion Plants
Use with other chaparral and coastal strand species.

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

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
Keep moist


Propagation ?
Readily self-sows. Because of its invasive tendency, it is advisable to remove seed pods as soon as they develop.

Common uses
Deer Resistant, Bird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Tree Lupine, Yellow Bush Lupine

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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