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Common False Lupine
Thermopsis macrophylla
About Common False Lupine (Thermopsis macrophylla) 2 Nurseries Carry This Plant Thermopsis macrophylla is a species of flowering plant in the legume family known by the common names Santa Inez goldenbanner and Santa Ynez false-lupine. It is endemic to Santa Barbara County, California, where there are 500 to 2500 individuals remaining in the Santa Ynez Mountains. Only two occurrences have been confirmed recently, but the appearance of plants in coming seasons will depend on wildfire activity in the region, because plants spring up from the dormant seed bank after fire. All the known populations occur on wildlands within the Los Padres National Forest. The plant grows in chaparral on sandstone soils among chamise (Adenostoma fasciculatum), Eastwood's manzanita (Arctostaphylos glandulosa), and chaparral whitethorn (Ceanothus leucodermis). This species once included several other species of Thermopsis, but in 1994, the others were separated out and elevated to species status, and the name T. macrophylla was applied to this rare variety limited to the Santa Ynez Mountains. This is a rhizomatous perennial herb growing up to 2 meters tall and one wide. It produces up to ten inflorescences each bearing up to 100 bright yellow flowers up to 2 centimeters long each. The fruit is a legume pod containing six to eight seeds. The seeds have very hard coats and must be scarified by fire until they reach 80 degreesC if they are to germinate.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Perennial herb

3 - 6.6 ft tall

Flower Color
Flower Color

Wildlife Supported


Landscaping Information
Full Sun, Part Shade


Ease of Care
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Common uses
Common uses
Deer Resistant, Butterfly Gardens

For propagating by seed: Hot water treatment.  For propagating by seed: Hot water treatment.

Sunset Zones
Sunset Zones?
1, 2, 3, 6*, 7*, 14, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22*, 23*, 24*

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
erpentine rock ourcroppings or adobe grasslands

Annual Precipitation: 15.1" - 151.9", Summer Precipitation: 0.20" - 6.00", Coldest Month: 36.0" - 52.5", Hottest Month: 59.8" - 77.1", Humidity: 0.12" - 23.57", Elevation: 21" - 4902"

Alternative Names
Botanical Names: Thermopsis macrophylla var. macrophylla,Thermopsis macrophylla var. agnina
Common Names: California Falselupine, Santa Inez Goldenbanner, Santa Ynez False Lupine, Santa Ynez False-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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