Intermountain Rusty Lupine
Lupinus pusillus Pursh var. intermontanus (A. Heller) C. P. Sm
The lost specimen was probably collected near Kamiah in Idaho Co., Idaho, on 5 Jun 1806. The specimen at the Royal Botanic Garden, Kew, England, long considered to be a Lewis and Clark collection (see Moulton 103), is a Thomas Nuttall collection gathered in 1811 along the Missouri River in North Dakota. The Nuttall specimen is the rusty lupine, Lupinus pusillus Pursh (Fl. Amer. Sept.: 468. Dec 1813). (Source)
Also called "rusty" lupine, small lupine is an annual with a taproot. Stems are up to 8 inches tall, simple or much branched, and densely covered with pale brown hairs. The alternate leaves are up to 6 inches long. Each leaf has a 2-inch stalk (petiole) and 6-8 leaflets about an inch long arranged palmately (like fingers on a hand). Flowers are about 1/2 inch long and form dense clusters of 10-20. Colors range from white or yellowish-white to (usually) pale blue. Mature legumes (seedpods) are up to an inch long, covered with tan hairs, and contain two large, pale seeds.. Low lupine occurs in dry sandy soil of mesas, canyons, and wastelands in the Central and Western U. S.; 4,500 to 8,000 feet elevation; flowering May to June.
This plant is reportedly poisonous to livestock.
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