General: This is a small, blue and white, annual lupine growing to 16 in. in height.
Plant: A usually small, grayish, hairy, branched plant with palmately compound leaves and blue-violet and white pea flowers arranged in whorls in short, thick, cone-like racemes.
Flowers: The pea-like flowers occur in a short raceme and are subtended by small, palmately compound leaves.
Fruits: Slightly hairy pods to 3cm long.
Description 2: This is a small, blue and white, annual lupine growing to 16 in. in height. A usually small, grayish, hairy, branched plant with palmately compound leaves and blue-violet and white pea flowers arranged in whorls in short, thick, cone-like racemes. The pea-like flowers occur in a short raceme and are subtended by small, palmately compound leaves.
Miniature Lupine and California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica) are common companions, the blue cast given to fields by the lupine perfectly complementing the fiery orange of the poppy. There are many other annual lupines. The oldest known viable seeds, discovered in 1967 frozen in a lemming burrow, are from an Arctic lupine estimated to be 10,000 years old; when planted the seeds germinated in 48 hours.
Description 3: Annual, brown-hairy herb, 10-45 cm tall, erect or nearly so. Leaves palmately compound; 5-8 leaflets, to 4 cm long, hairy above (not below). Flowers blue and white, pea-like, small (to 7 mm long); in short clusters. Fruits are slightly hairy pods to 3 cm long
Distribution: Chiefly west of the Cascades in Washington state, but also in southeastern part of state; British Columbia south to California, east to Arizona.
Ecological Setting: Open, gravelly and sandy sites; at low elevation.
Soil Texture: Open, gravelly and sandy places.
Moisture Regime: Dry to moderately dry.
Shade Tollerance: Open sunny areas
Successional Status: Ruderal
Wildlife: Important nectar source for bees.
First Nations: Roots were roasted or pit-cooked, then peeled and often dipped in oolichan grease, before being eaten by the Haida, Tlingit, Lower Chinook and probably other northwest groups. The Haida also dried the roots into cakes - called ‘black bear’s tails’ - for winter use.
Flowering Time: April to July
Fruit Ripening Time: May to April
Seed Collection Time: As pods begin to ripen
Crop Intervals: Annual
Number of Seeds Per kg: 5000
Seed Viability: >90%, even in stored seeds.
Fruit and Seed Collection and Extraction: Because pods of lupines pop open when ripe, and disperse their seeds, pods must be collected while still somewhat green. Immature pods should be gently air-dried until they pop and shed their seeds. Coarse materials can be screened from the small (up to 4 m long) seeds. In general, when mature lupine seeds have been well dried, they can be stored for extended periods – up to 30 years at room temperature have been recorded.
Fruit/Seed Dormancy and Treatment: Stored lupine seeds have very hard seedcoats that require pretreatment to induce germination. Mechanical scarification, steeped hot water (just off the boil) for 12 hours, and stratification at 1-2 ºC for 10-11 weeks have induced prompt germination. The latter method is the easiest and safest. Seeds should be sown into light gritty, and well drained, soil.
Seed sample from: 2011
Average Measurement: 2.4 x 1.9 x 0.9
Measurement Range: L: 2 - 3, W: 1.75 - 2.25, D: 0.75 - 1
Color: Seeds mostly brown, speckled with brown, gray, off-white, and/ or black. Seeds have distinctive black splotchy line that crosses the lateral seed face to encircle the hilum, inside of which is another similar white line. Seed edges are less heavily speckled with dark colors, giving them a more off-white appearance.
Surface: Seed surface smooth and glossy, with some small concave pockets.
Basic Explanations and Assumptions:
The dimensions for the seeds are length x width x depth. The location of the hilum is used as the base of the seed, and the length is measured from hilum to the opposite apex. Where a style is present, the length is measured from the hilum to the bottom of the style. Width is measured at a right angle to the length at the widest part. Depth is measured at a right angle to the intersection of height and width lines.
Measurements included are the mean average for each measurement of ten separate seeds.
All measurements in millimeters unless otherwise noted.