Lupinus odoratus A.A. Heller

Royal Desert Lupine
Fabaceae (Pea Family)


Royal desert lupine is a subacaulescent, slightly succulent annual, 6" to 12" tall that is sparsely short-hairy when young and becomes glabrous in age.  The leaves are basal, palmately-compound like all lupines, on petioles that are up to 5" long, and have 5-7 cuneate to spatulate leaflets glabrous above and ± strigose beneath.  The deep purple to violet flowers extend well above the leaves, and there is a yellow or whitish spot on the banner and a glabrous keel.  The flowers are not situated in whorls and are quite fragrant, hence the species name.  The fruit is a hairy-margined, yellowish legume up to 3/4" long with a wavy upper suture each containing 2-6 wrinkled seeds.  Royal desert lupine, also called Mojave lupine, is locally common on sandy soils and dry, open flats from 2000' to 4500', in creosote bush scrub and joshua tree woodland, blooming from April to May.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Lupinus 2) odoratus.
Pronunciation: loo-PIE-nus oh-dor-AY-ta.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.


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