Lupinus nanus

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Lupinus nanus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Genisteae
Genus: Lupinus
Subgenus: Platycarpos
Species: L. nanus
Binomial name
Lupinus nanus
Douglas ex Benth.

Lupinus nanus ("sky lupine", "field lupine", "dwarf lupin", "ocean-blue lupine"[1] or "Douglas' annual lupine"), is a species of lupine native to the western United States. It is found natively in California, Nevada, and on Steens Mountain in eastern Oregon. It tends to be found growing on slopes[2] and in open or disturbed areas below 1300 meters.[3] It grows 6 to 20 inches tall with blue flowers containing white or yellow spots. It is an annual plant that blooms in the months of March, April and May.[4] It contains anagyrine[5] and is considered toxic if directly ingested.[6] Among the biologically active chemicals found in the pant are genistein, 2'-hydroxygenistein, luteone and wighteone.[7]


Lupinus nanus has a large genetic variability.[8] There are three accepted subspecies of Lupinus nanus:[9][10]

  • Lupinus nanus subsp. latifolius (Benth. ex Torr.) D.B. Dunn – sky lupine
  • Lupinus nanus subsp. menkerae (C.P.Sm.) D.B. Dunn (commonly called Menker's lupine)
  • Lupinus nanus subsp. nanus Douglas ex Benth. – sky lupine

Lupinus nanus is often found in mixed populations with Lupinus bicolor, Lupinus pachylobus, Lupinus micranthus, and Lupinus vallicola (some of these species are not currently recognized as distinct taxa in the Jepson Manual). In addition to the subspecies above, variations include[11]

  • Lupinus nanus var. apricus (Greene) C.P.Sm.
  • Lupinus nanus var. carnosulus (Greene) C.P.Sm.
  • Lupinus nanus var. maritimus Hoover
  • Lupinus nanus var. perlasius C.P.Sm.
  • Lupinus nanus var. vallicola (A. Heller) C.P.Sm.


  1. ^ "Ocean-blue lupine (Lupinus nanus) (National Gardening Association)". Retrieved 21 June 2016. 
  2. ^ "Calflora: Lupinus nanus". Calflora. Retrieved 21 June 2016. 
  3. ^ Sholars, Teresa. "Jepson Herbarium: Jepson Flora Project: Jepson eFlora: Lupinus nanus". Retrieved 21 June 2016. 
  4. ^ "Lupinus nanus". Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved 21 June 2016. 
  5. ^ Fuller, Thomas C.; McClintock, Elizabeth May. Poisonous Plants of California. University of California Press. p. 164. ISBN 9780520055698. 
  6. ^ "KNOW YOUR PLANTS!" (PDF). California Poison Control System. Retrieved 21 June 2016. 
  7. ^ Bisby, Frank. Phytochemical Dictionary of the Leguminosae. CRC Press. p. 437. ISBN 9780412397707. 
  8. ^ Knops, Johannes M. H.; Barthell, John F. (1 January 1996). "FLOWER ABUNDANCE IN A POPULATION OF SKY LUPINE (LUPINUS NANUS) OVER THREE YEARS IN CENTRAL COASTAL CALIFORNIA". Madroño. 43 (1): 85–92. JSTOR 41425120. 
  9. ^ "Lupinus nanus (Douglas ex Benth.) - subspecies and accepted taxa". United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 4 March 2014. 
  10. ^ "Lupinus nanus Douglas ex Benth.". Retrieved 21 June 2016. 
  11. ^ "Fabaceae of North America Update, database (version 2011)". Retrieved 21 June 2016. 

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