Thursday, August 27, 2009

White-patched blue lupines at the shore of Granite Lake

There exist many species and varieties of blue-flowered lupines of the pea family (Fabaceae). Along the shore of Granite Lake in the Mokelumne Wilderness of the Sierra Nevada, short lupine plants with white hairs on stems and leaves were found this August. This top view of one of the lupine flowers shows white patches and hair in some parts of the flower. Comparison with pictures and descriptions of other lupines suggest that this one and the nearby lupine plants with the same characteristics, that were found in the high-elevation Granite Lake area, are most likely Lobb's tidy lupines (Lupinus lepidus var. lobbii).

For comparison, see pictures of various blue and blue-white flowered lupines:
Lupinus breweri - Brewer's lupine
Lupinus gracilentus - Slender lupine
Lupinus grayii - Gray's lupine
Lupinus lepidus var. lobbii
Lupinus polyphyllus - Large-leaved lupine
Lupinus pratensis - Inyo meadow lupine

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