by Angelina Robinson,
Native Plants of Arizona 2007
Silvery lupine (1, 2, 3, 5, 8), silver stem lupine (2), wolfbean (9).
Fabaceae (1, 4, 8) (alt.
laxiflorus var. foliosus, Lupinus sitgreavesii, Lupinus garrettianus,
Lupinus decumbens, Lupinus laxiflorus var. corymbosus, Lupinus argenteus
var. decumbens, Lupinus foliosus
Lupinus refers to “of the wolf” or lupine “wolf-like” and is
thought to be named after a belief that the plants were harmful to soil
(2, 7); argenteus or argentum means “silvery” and refers to the
hairs on the stems and leaves (7).
Subshrub or herbaceous perennial (1, 2, 8, 9).
Roots: Has root nodules containing bacteria that aid in nitrogen
One to several,
erect or ascending , 30-80 cm. (12-30 in.) tall (8), covered with silvery
hairs (2, 8)
Alternate, palmately compound (8, 9), 5 to 10 nearly linear oblanceolate
leaflets 2-8 cm. long (8), dark green glabrous above, light green with
dense hairs below (2),
Many flowered terminal raceme 5 to 25 cm. long (8). Flowers violet, lilac,
rarely white (9), banner petal wide with hairs on back (2), wing petals 8
to 12 mm., keel deep and swollen, corolla blue, calyx bent away from keel
almost perpendicular to pedicel (8).
Hairy obovate pods, 20 to 35 mm. long, 6 to 9 mm. wide (8).
There are 23 species in the genera Lupinus. Lupinus argenteus
can be identified from other species of Lupinus by its
elevation, leaf shape, and silvery-haired stem (2).
Perennial herb orsubshrub (1).
Flowers June to October (2).
7,000 to 10,000 (2135 to 3050 m) feet elevation (2, 5, 8). Found in
clearing of coniferous forests of Apache, Coconino, and Mohave, and Navajo
Countys in Arizona (8). Western United States (1).
eaten by many bird species (2). Used as a dermatological aid (4). Navajo
make a poultice out of the dried leaves and apply poison ivy blisters (4,
8). The root nodules of legume species are known to positively affect soil
nitrogen content by absorbing free nitrogen from the air and enriching the
soil through their roots (3, 8). Lupinus argenteus as well as many
other forbs have been integrated into land restoration seed mixes in order
to improve degraded soil (3). Several species of lupine including L.
argenteus are poisonous to livestock, causing “crooked calf disease”
in cattle and death in sheep (6).
USDA, NRCS. 2007. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov,
12 November 2004).
Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.
2. Epple, A. O.
1995. A Field Guide to the Plants of Arizona. Falcon Publishing.
USDA, NRCS. 2004. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5, Symbiotic Nitrogen
Fixation and Establishment of Six Montana Native Legume Species (http://www.mt.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/ecs/plants/technotes/pmtechnoteMT54.html).
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490
Moerman, D. 2003. Native American Ethnobotany Database (http://herb.umd.umich.edu/).
University of Michigan, Dearborn, MI 48198
Dittmann, L. 007. NAZ Flora A photographic, Annotated catalog of Northern
Arizona vascular plants (http://www.nazflora.org/Fabaceae.htm).
Mindbird Maps & Books, Cottonwood, AZ 86326.
Lopez-Ortiz, S. 2004. The effect of body condition on disposition of
alkaloids from silvery lupine (Lupinus argenteus Pursh) in sheep.
Journal of Animal Science, Vol. 82:2798-2805.
Harper, D. 2001. Online Etymology Dictionary (http://www.etymonline.com/index.php).
8. Springer, J. et al. 2003.
Plants of Northern Arizona Forests Draft. Ecological Restoration
Institute, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona.
9. Faucon, P. 2007. Desert