Lupinus albifrons

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Lupinus albifrons
Lupinus albifrons.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Genus: Lupinus
L. albifrons
Binomial name
Lupinus albifrons

Lupinus albifrons, silver lupine, white-leaf bush lupine, or evergreen lupine, is a species of lupine (lupin). It is native to California and Oregon, where it grows along the coast and in dry and open meadows, prairies and forest clearings. It is a member of several plant communities, including coastal sage scrub, chaparral, northern coastal scrub, foothill woodland, and yellow pine forest.


A lupine seedling at the site of a 2004 California wildfire

Lupinus albifrons is a perennial shrub, taking up about 2 ft (0.61 m) of space and reaching 5 ft (1.5 m). It has a light blue to violet flower on 3–12 inches (7.6–30.5 cm) stalks. The leaves are silver with a feathery texture.


This plant grows as a wildflower in the hills and valleys of California. It requires good drainage and needs little water once the roots are established.

Toxicity to livestock[edit]

The plant is deer-resistant due to the presence of the bitter-tasting alkaloid toxins anagyrine and lupinine.[1] Because of these toxins lupines can negatively affect livestock, causing birth defects and decreasing weight especially in young, inexperienced cattle.[1] When cows are under stress from lactating, especially in times of low forage availability, they will consume more lupine than usual.[1]

Mission blue butterfly[edit]

The federally endangered mission blue butterfly requires either Lupinus albifrons, Lupinus formosus and Lupinus variicolor, on which their larvae feed.[2] The butterfly becomes toxic itself when it feeds on the plant, leaving it with a bitter taste to deter predators.

Due to its potential danger to livestock, this lupine is removed from rangeland when possible, eliminating a crucial food plant from the butterfly's range[citation needed].

Infraspecific taxa[edit]

Lupinus albifrons has five different varieties, three of which occur only in California, the other two occur in both California and Oregon:[3]

  • Lupinus albifrons var. albifrons, silver lupine
  • Lupinus albifrons var. collinus, silver lupine
  • Lupinus albifrons var. douglasii, Douglas' silver lupine
  • Lupinus albifrons var. eminens, silver lupine
  • Lupinus albifrons var. flumineus, silver lupine.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]