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Common name: Silky Lupine
Scientific name: Lupinus sericeus
Duration: Perennial
Family: Legume family (Fabaceae)
Habitat: Grasslands, sagebrush, mountain shrub, aspen and coniferous forests. Dry to moist places in a broad range of soil types. Full sun to partial shade.
Blooming period: early June to mid-July
Color: Blue to purple
Height: 8-24''
Planting Time: Fall preferred; 30-day cool/moist stratification

Pronunciation: Lupinus sericeus (loo-PIE-nus ser-REE-see-us)

Other common names: blue-bonnet lupine

Forage Value: White-tailed deer, bighorn sheep, upland game birds, small birds and small mammals all eat this plant. Silky lupine is poisonous to cattle and sheep. Silky lupine is an attractant to multiple native bee species (both honey and bumblebees), hummingbirds and other pollinators.

Historic Uses: The Okanogan-Colville tribes used a mixture of the seeds from this plant as an eye medicine.

Miscellany: As with other plants in the Legume family, silky lupine fixes nitrogen in to soil making it useful in restoration of disturbed/degraded sites.

Further Resources:
USDA Plant Guide for Silky Lupine

Photo credit: (top left) J.W. Jensen (right) T. Heekin

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