Nootka Lupine

Lupinus nootkatensis

APPEARANCE

The leaves of the Nootka lupine are in groups of up to eight small leaflets, and the plants grow to one metre tall. The flowers are blue with pink and white tinges that grow clustered in tall spikes. In Rome, lupine seeds were used as money in theatrical productions.

RANGE & HABITAT

The Nootka lupine lives in open habitats like gravel bars, meadows, marshes, and slopes.

LIFE CYCLE

Nootka lupine flowers turn into long thin pea pods, about six centimetres long, with large hard seeds in them.

ANIMAL USES

Bears love to eat the roots of Nootka lupine. Some butterflies feed off the lupine and lay their eggs on its leaves.

TRADITIONAL FIRST NATIONS USES

The roots were roasted or pit-cooked. Only folks with special knowledge of the preparation techniques can prepare the seeds.

MODERN USES

Often grown as an ornamental in gardens and parks. Lupine seeds are poisonous and can be fatal if ingested.

STATUS

COSEWIC: Not at Risk
CDC: Yellow

MORE INFORMATION

www.depts.washington.edu

Photo: Matt LaB

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