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Lupinus bicolor

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About Miniature Lupine (Lupinus bicolor) Lupinus bicolor is a species in the Fabaceae (Legume) family known as the Miniature Lupine due to its diminutive size. It is a showy flowering plant native to western North America from California to British Columbia. In California it is very widespread, often appearing in huge numbers. It is an annual wildflower which often shares a habitat with the California poppy. It has a short, hairy stem and thin, palmately-arranged leaves. The flower cluster is short for a lupine at up to 8 centimeters tall. As its name suggests the flowers are usually two colors, with one often a deep blue. The other color is often white and sometimes a light purple or magenta. There are sometimes small speckles or spots on the petals. The plant's hairy pods are quite small, only a couple of centimeters long and very thin, and they contain tiny brownish peas. This plant can be variable in appearance and there are several purported subspecies whose relationships are as yet unclear. Like other Lupines it is nitrogen-fixing and so is useful in restoration projects.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb, Annual herb

Max. Height
0.26 - 1.3 ft (0.08 - 0.4 m)

Max. Width
1 ft (0.3 m)

Flower Color
Blue, Lavender, Purple, White

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Dry meadows, grasslands, prairies, open or disturbed places


Elevation ?
0' - 8996'

Annual Precip. ?
3.2" - 115.2"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 2.96"

Coldest Month ?
29.6° F - 59.4° F

Hottest Month ?
50.4° F - 88.1° F

Humidity ?
0.01 vpd - 39.05 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerates a variety of soils including very poor soil

Soil PH
5.8 - 8.2


Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 5° F

Sunset Zones ?
7*, 8*, 9*, 10, 11, 12, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18, 19, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Companion Plants
This plant is best used in a large open, sunny area where it can be sown in a mass along with other annual wildflowers.

Wildlife Attracted
The flowers attract numerous insects. Lupines generally are host plant for the Arrowhead Blue butterfly.

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

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water, 1x/month
No Summer Water
Keep moist

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

Common uses
Bird Gardens, Butterfly Gardens, Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
Miniature Lupine Due To Its Diminutive Size

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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