Lupinus sparsiflorus, Coulter's lupine, is a species of lupin native to North America. In the United States it occurs in California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah, and in Mexico it is found in Baja California and Sonora. Other common names include Mojave lupine, a name it shares with Lupinus odoratus.
This is an annual herb growing 20 to 40 centimeters tall. Each palmate leaf is made up of 7 to 11 very narrow leaflets up to 3 centimeters long and just a few millimeters wide. The inflorescence is a spiral of several flowers each around a centimeter long. The flower is blue or purple, becoming darker with age, with a white to pink patch on its banner.
The desert lupine flower is pale blue or purple,. The upper petal (banner) has a yellow spot which changes to reddish after pollination. The two bottom petals (keel) are short, and wide; they are hairy on the bottom edge and curve upward to a slender tip. When ripe, seed pods explode, scattering their seed to the wind.
Media related to Lupinus sparsiflorus at Wikimedia Commons
- Jepson Manual Treatment — Lupinus sparsiflorus
- USDA Plants Profile: Lupinus sparsiflorus (Coulter's lupine)
- Lupinus sparsiflorus — U.C. Photo gallery
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