Lupinus crassus
Author: Payson

Payson lupine

Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Close up of Lupinus crassus by Peggy Lyon
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Ranks and Status

Global rank: G2
State rank: S2
Federal protection status: BLM Sensitive
State protection status: None

[+] Description and Phenology

Please see 1997 profile

General description: Tall herbaceous perennial. The leaves are succulent, appressed puberulent to glabrate. The caudex is branched, forming a dense mat from which arise many decumbent stems.  The inflorescence is erect.  Flowers are white to pinkish with purple tips.  The banner is reflexed at or near the midpoint, leaving a relatively wide gap above the wings (Spackman et al. 1997).

Look Alikes: L. ammophilus leaves have pilose pubescence (Spackman et al. 1997).

Phenology: Flowers in May to early June, fruiting in June.

[+] Habitat

Habitat of Lupinus crassus by Peggy Lyon
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Habitat of Lupinus crassus by Peggy Lyon
Click image to enlarge.

Pinyon-juniper woodland; on Mancos shale derived soils in the Naturita area; on quaternary alluvium derived from the Chinle Formation in the Paradox Valley; on sparsely vegetated soil, particularly in draws and dry hillsides (Peterson 1983); occasionally found on loamy to clayey soils and even on adobe hill (O'Kane 1988). 

Elevation Range: 5,069 - 6,260 feet (1,545 - 1,908 meters)

[+] Distribution

Distribution of Lupinus crassus in Colorado.
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Colorado endemic: Yes
Global range: Colorado endemic; known from Montrose County. Estimated range is 502 square kilometers (194 square miles), calculated in GIS by drawing a minimum convex polygon around the known occurrences.

[+] Threats and Management Issues

Summary results of an analysis of the status of Lupinus crassus based on several ranking factors. This species was concluded to be “weakly conserved”. From Rondeau et al. 2011.
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Incompatible grazing is considered to be the primary threat to the species at this time (Rondeau et al. 2011). Lupinus crassus is also moderately threatened by landfills (Paradox dump site), road construction, and oil and gas exploration and extraction (Peterson 1983).

[+] References

    • Ackerfield, J. 2012. The Flora of Colorado. Colorado State University Herbarium. 433 pp.
    • Atwood, D., J. Holland, R. Bolander, B. Frnaklin, D. E. House, L. Armstrong, K. Thorne, and L. England. 1991. Utah Threatened, Endangered, and Sensitive Plant Field Guide. US Forest Service Intermountain Region, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Utah Natural Heritage Program, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency, Navajo Nation, and Skull Valley Goshute Tribe.
    • Barneby, Rupert. 1987. Letter to J.L. Anderson.
    • Colorado Native Plant Society. 1989. Rare plants of Colorado. Rocky Mountain Nature Association, Colorado Native Plant Society, Estes Park, Colorado. 73 pp.
    • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
    • Neely, B., S. Panjabi, E. Lane, P. Lewis, C. Dawson, A. Kratz, B. Kurzel, T. Hogan, J. Handwerk, S. Krishnan, J. Neale, and N. Ripley. 2009. Colorado Rare Plant Conservation Strategy, Developed by the Colorado Rare Plant conservation Initiative. The Nature Conservancy, Boulder, Colorado, 117 pp.
    • O'Kane, S.L. 1988. Colorado's rare flora. Great Basin Naturalist 48(4): 434-484.
    • Payson, Edwin. New and Noteworthy Plants from Southwestern Colorado. Botanical Gazette. 60:374.
    • Peterson, J.S. 1983. Status report for Lupinus crassus. Unpublished report prepared for the Colorado Natural Heritage, Ft. Collins, CO.
    • Rondeau, R., K. Decker, J. Handwerk, J. Siemers, L. Grunau, and C. Pague. 2011. The state of Colorado's biodiversity 2011. Prepared for The Nature Conservancy. Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.
    • Spackman, S., B. Jennings, J. Coles, C. Dawson, M. Minton, A. Kratz, C. Spurrier, and T. Skadelandl. 1996. Colorado rare plant field guide. Prepared for the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program, Fort Collins.
    • USDA, NRCS. 2013. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.
    • Weber, W. A. and R. C. Wittmann. 2012. Colorado Flora, Western Slope, A Field Guide to the Vascular Plants, Fourth Edition. Boulder, Colorado. 532 pp.
    • Weber, W.A., and R.C. Wittmann. 1996b. Colorado flora: Western slope. Univ. Press of Colorado, Niwot, Colorado. 496 pp.

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