Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Lupinus sulphureus
sulfur lupine
WTU images
WTU specimens
Other herbaria

Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in Washington; southern British Columbia to central Oregon, possibly east to adjacent Idaho.

Habitat: Shrub-steppe, grassland, and open ponderosa pine forests.

Flowers: April-June

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Robust perennial herb with numerous stems from a branched root crown.


Alternate, palmately compound with 9-11 narrow variously pubescent leaflets.


Yellow or white, 9-12 mm long, pea-like.


Pea-like pods 2-3 cm long.

Identification Notes:

Compared to other Lupinus species, has fairly small flowers with the banner (upper petal) not much reflexed and either glabrous or only slightly pubescent. Also note the yellow to white flowers and palmately compound leaves with relatively narrow leaflets.


This is a difficult genus and the key in Hitchcock and Cronquist 1973 is out of date.

Accepted Name:
Lupinus sulphureus Douglas ex Hook.
Publication: Fl. Bor.-Amer. (Hooker) 1(4): 166. 1832.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
var. subsaccatus – Bingen lupine    Occurring east of the Cascades crest in Washington; southern British Columbia south mostly along the east base of the Cascades and in the east end of the Columbia River Gorge, occasionally farther east, but not reaching Idaho.
var. sulphureus – sulphur lupine    From Okanogan County to Blue Mts, of southeastern Washington, and westward to the east end of the Columbia River Gorge in Washington; Washington to northeastern Oregon.
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Lupinus sulphureus in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Lupinus sulphureus checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Lupinus sulphureus atlas page.

CalPhotos: Lupinus sulphureus photos.

USDA Plants: Lupinus sulphureus information.

71 photographs:
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