Stony ground lupine as seen along Mabton Road at the high point east of Bickleton, WA, where the road begins to descend towards Mabton, WA..........April 23, 2013.
Also known as meadow or rock lupine, stony-ground lupine is an attractive perennial wildflower of shorter stature than many perennial lupines. It consists of several to many spreading to erect stems that are generally unbranched and measure from 15-40 cm long. Plants often appear wider than tall. The herbage of the stems consists of long spreading hairs. The stems especially may appear brownish in color (See photo above.) The basal leaves have long petioles measuring up to 14 cm long and which are covered with long-villous hairs. The 8-12 leaflets are oblanceolate in outline with acute to rounded tips, and they measure from 2-4 cm long and 6-10 mm wide. The upper surface of the leaflets is green and ranges from glabrous to sparsely hairy while the ventral surface of the leaflets consists of long, somewhat appressed hairs.
The close-flowered racemes generally measure from 5-10 cm long in flower, 3.5-4.5 cm wide, and up to 15 cm long in fruit. The stout pedicels measure from 5-8 mm long while the calyx is hairy (See photos.) with the upper lip cleft at least one-third of its length (often more than one-half its length (See photo below.). The petals are 14-18 mm long with the broad wings longer than the keel. The standard or banner is well reflexed back from the wings and keel, with a banner index of from at least 10-15. Flowers are bright blue with some purple highlights while the front of the banner is whitish or yellowish, sometimes marked with purple. The keel is ciliate-margined.
The banner index is obtained by measuring the distance of the wings (from their distal tip to the point of intersection with the banner) and multiplying that by the measurement of the front of the banner (from its distal dip to its intersection of the wings).
Stony-ground lupine may be found on shallow, rocky soils on open scablands or grasslands or amongst sagebrush or juniper. It is also found on basalt rimrock or in open ponderosa pine woods. It is most often found below elevations of 1800 meters.
A widespread species in western North America, stony-ground lupine may be found east of the Cascade Mts. from north-central Washington south through central and eastern Oregon to northern California and east to Nevada and south to the northern Great Basin.
In the Columbia River Gorge, it may be found between the elevations of 1400'-2000' along Seven Mile Road and near the top of Chenoweth Rd (both sites are west of The Dalles) and near Rufus, OR. An additional site may occur near the top of the Columbia Hills to the north of The Dalles.
Additional Photos of Stony-ground Lupine from the Columbia Hills ?
The photo above shows a close-up of the raceme of stony-ground lupine as seen along US Highway 97 about 1 mile north of Shaniko, OR.................April 18, 2004.
The photo above shows a typical view of stony-ground lupine as seen along US Highway 97 about 1 mile north of Shaniko, OR.................April 18, 2004.
The photograph above shows stony-ground lupine as seen at the high point along Lonerock Road between Condon, OR and Lonerock, OR................May 1, 2004. Note that this lupine often appears wider than tall.