Chick lupine is an annual wildflower with one to several erect stems ranging from 7-30 cm high (including the racemes). The palmately compound leaves are finely pilose except for the light green, glabrous upper surfaces. The leaf hairs are horizontal or widely ascending and measure from 1.3-2.5 mm long. The leaves have 5-9 leaflets, which are oblanceolate in shape with obtuse to slightly acute tips, and measure 8-28 mm long by 3-8 mm wide.
The flower stems range from 4-11 cm long and barely hold the raceme above the uppermost leaves. The raceme measures 1.5-12 cm long. The flowers are found in 2-5 verticils of 3-6 flowers each, the verticils spaced from 5-25 cm apart. The ascending petioles are 1-2.5 mm long and subtended by a long, slender bract. The calyx measures 7-11 mm long and is unequally 2-lipped and swollen on the upper surface where it meets the petiole. The petals are white, lilac, pale purple, or reddish-pink. The banner measures 8-12 mm long and has a white, purple spotted center. The keel is 10-14 mm long and ciliate margined immediately above the claw. The pods are 2-seeded, ovate-acuminate, and 13-17 mm long by 7-10.5 mm wide.
Chick lupine may be found in open areas on sandy and stony flats, volcanic clay badlands, and along roadsides.
Chick lupine is found from Vancouver Island south , extending east of the Cascades to southeastern Washington, eastern Oregon, northeast California, and northwestern Nevada.
Additional photos of chick lupine as seen on ashy slopes of the cutbanks along Oregon Highway 218 about one mile west of Clarno, OR..............May 16, 2010.