Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Lupinus sericeus


SPECIES: Lupinus sericeus
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Matthews, Robin F. 1993. Lupinus sericeus. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].
ABBREVIATION : LUPSER SYNONYMS : NO-ENTRY SCS PLANT CODE : LUSE4 COMMON NAMES : silky lupine blue-bonnet lupine TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name of silky lupine is Lupinus sericeus Pursh [5,11,13,41]. Lupinus is a taxonomically complex genus and there is much confusion regarding nomenclature. Species within the genus are extremely variable and freely intergrade, making morphological characteristics used to separate taxa few and inconsistent. There is much disagreement among authorities concerning recognized subspecies, varieties, and forms of silky lupine [12,13,18,41]. LIFE FORM : Forb FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Lupinus sericeus
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Silky lupine is distributed east of the Cascade Range from British Columbia south to California and Arizona and east to Alberta, Montana, South Dakota, Colorado, and New Mexico [5,11,12,22,41]. ECOSYSTEMS : FRES20 Douglas-fir FRES21 Ponderosa pine FRES23 Fir - spruce FRES25 Larch FRES26 Lodgepole pine FRES28 Western hardwoods FRES29 Sagebrush FRES34 Chaparral - mountain shrub FRES35 Pinyon - juniper FRES36 Mountain grasslands FRES37 Mountain meadows FRES38 Plains grasslands FRES44 Alpine STATES : AZ CA CO ID MT NE NV NM ND OR SD UT WA WY AB BC BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : 4 Sierra Mountains 5 Columbia Plateau 6 Upper Basin and Range 7 Lower Basin and Range 8 Northern Rocky Mountains 9 Middle Rocky Mountains 10 Wyoming Basin 11 Southern Rocky Mountains 12 Colorado Plateau 13 Rocky Mountain Piedmont 15 Black Hills Uplift 16 Upper Missouri Basin and Broken Lands KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : K007 Red fir forest K008 Lodgepole pine - subalpine forest K010 Ponderosa shrub forest K011 Western ponderosa forest K012 Douglas-fir forest K014 Grand fir - Douglas-fir forest K015 Western spruce - fir forest K016 Eastern ponderosa forest K017 Black Hills pine forest K018 Pine - Douglas-fir forest K019 Arizona pine forest K020 Spruce - fir - Douglas-fir forest K021 Southwestern spruce - fir forest K022 Great Basin pine forest K023 Juniper - pinyon woodland K024 Juniper steppe woodland K025 Alder - ash forest K028 Mosaic of K002 and K026 K033 Chaparral K034 Montane chaparral K037 Mountain-mahogany - oak scrub K038 Great Basin sagebrush K050 Fescue - wheatgrass K051 Wheatgrass - bluegrass K052 Alpine meadows and barren K055 Sagebrush steppe K056 Wheatgrass - needlegrass shrubsteppe K063 Foothills prairie K064 Grama - needlegrass - wheatgrass K066 Wheatgrass - needlegrass SAF COVER TYPES : 203 Balsam poplar 206 Engelmann spruce - subalpine fir 207 Red fir 208 Whitebark pine 209 Bristlecone pine 210 Interior Douglas-fir 212 Western larch 213 Grand fir 216 Blue spruce 217 Aspen 218 Lodgepole pine 219 Limber pine 220 Rocky Mountain juniper 237 Interior ponderosa pine 238 Western juniper 239 Pinyon - juniper 243 Sierra Nevada mixed conifer 256 California mixed subalpine SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Silky lupine is found in a range of habitats including grasslands, sagebrush, mountain brush, and aspen and conifer forests [5,22,41]. The following publications list silky lupine as an herbaceous layer dominant in Idaho fescue (Festuca idahoensis) or common snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus) habitats: Grassland vegetation in the Big Horn Mountains, Wyoming [14] Plant associations of the Wallowa-Snake Province: Wallowa-Whitman National Forest [16]


SPECIES: Lupinus sericeus
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Silky lupine is readily to moderately available within its range and is consumed from a moderate to high degree by white-tailed deer, upland game birds, small nongame birds, and small mammals [6]. In sagebrush habitats in the River of No Return Wilderness, Idaho, silky lupine comprised 6 percent of the summer diet of bighorn sheep [8]. Dead aerial portions of the plant are preferred by bighorn sheep in winter in Glacier National Park, Montana [32]. The leaves and flowers of silky lupine are preferred by Columbia ground squirrels [23]. PALATABILITY : Palatability of silky lupine in Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, and Montana is poor to fair for cattle and horses and fair for sheep [6]. NUTRITIONAL VALUE : Silky lupine is generally poor in energy and protein value [6]. Nutrient values from plants collected in July in the River of No Return Wilderness, Idaho, were 26 percent crude fiber; 17 percent crude protein; 1.09 percent calcium; and 0.21 percent phosphorous. Moisture content was 62 percent [8]. COVER VALUE : Silky lupine provides fair to good cover for small nongame birds and small mammals [6]. VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Silky lupine is useful in the rehabilitation of disturbed areas [4,20,29]. Its ability to fix nitrogen allows it to colonize repeatedly disturbed and low-fertility soils. It has established in old roadbeds in abandoned mining towns of Montana [20], and in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming [4]. Overall, silky lupine has been given a medium to low rating for erosion control and long-term revegetation potential in Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana [6]. Lupines as a whole have possibilities for use in management, but more information is needed on the response of the genus to stand disturbance in a wide range of habitats [17]. OTHER USES AND VALUES : NO-ENTRY OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Silky lupine is a highly toxic plant, especially to sheep [15,23]. It is less toxic to cattle and horses [19], but causes calf deformities if ingested by cows between 40 to 70 days gestation [15,27,37]. It produces quinolizidine alkaloids which affect the nervous system of livestock [27]. Lupines (Lupinus spp.) are responsible for more losses among sheep in Montana, Idaho, and Utah than any other single plant genus [19]. Silky lupine is toxic from the beginning of growth in the spring until it dries in late summer [15,37]. Dried plants are probably poisonous as well [19]. Sheep are poisoned by ingesting 0.125 to 0.25 pound (0.06-0.11 kg) daily for 3 to 4 days. Cattle are poisoned by ingesting 1.0 to 1.5 pounds (0.45-0.68 kg) daily. Livestock normally consume silky lupine only when other forage is unavailable [15,37]. The symptoms associated with silky lupine poisoning have been described in detail [19,37]. Silky lupine is apparently not toxic to wildlife [6,27]. Silky lupine increases under intensive grazing, and is most abundant under poor or fair range conditions [16,39,40]. It often forms nearly pure stands in overgrazed areas [39]. Poisoning of livestock occurs when poor range management has resulted in overgrazing and depletion of preferred rangeland species [27]. Where lupine species are common, ranges should be utilized when other forage is abundant and especially when lupines are not in fruit [37]. Silky lupine has been controlled by various esters of 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T [15,37]. Plants should be sprayed after they are approximately 5 inches (12.7 cm) tall, but before they bloom [15]. After spraying, grazing should be deferred to let desirable plant species occupy the range. Lupines (L. sericeus and L. caudatus) responded with minor changes in canopy cover to different management regimes in Douglas-fir/pinegrass (Pseudotsuga mensiesii/Calamagrostis rubescens) habitat types in central Idaho. The plants decreased slightly in canopy cover, but seedlings established when stands were selectively cut or clearcut followed by mechanical scarification. There was a slight increase in growth in stands that were clearcut with no site preparation. Seedling establishment and an increase in cover were evident in stands destroyed by wildfire and in stands that were clearcut followed by broadcast burning [35]. In ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) types in eastern Washington, silky lupine increased 1,100 percent in plots thinned with 26-foot (8.0 m) spacing. There was no increase in unthinned plots [26]. Silkly lupine is the dominant forb in Idaho fescue (Festuca idahoensis) grasslands of the Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming. It produces an average of 156 pounds per acre (175.5 kg/ha), and comprises 9 percent of the total production of all stands [14].


SPECIES: Lupinus sericeus
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Silky lupine is a native, perennial, cool-season forb [39,40]. Simple or branched stems arise from a woody caudex. Plants are generally 8 to 20 inches (20-50 cm) tall. Leaves are mostly basal and have seven to nine leaflets. The inflorescence is a terminal raceme. Flowers are conspicuously hairy on the dorsal side of the banner. Pods contain three to seven seeds [11,12,41]. Silky lupine has a deeply buried root system [35]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : Chamaephyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Silky lupine most often reproduces by seed [6,35,39]. The seeds are heavy and are not widely dispersed. They will germinate in full sun or partial shade. Silky lupine is not rhizomatous but will sprout from the caudex [35]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Silky lupine is found on dry, rocky sites on gentle to steep slopes and in open woods [7,11,19]. It grows best in dry, sandy, loamy, sandy-loam, and clayey-loam soils. It does not grow well in clay or other organic, acid, or sodic-saline soils. Silky lupine has been found to 10,000 feet (3,030 m) elevation in Colorado and Utah [6]. Some species commonly associated with silky lupine include Gambel oak (Quercus gambelii), common snowberry, ninebark (Physocarpus malvaceus), serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.), mountain-mahogany (Cercocarpus spp.), arrowleaf balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata), western yarrow (Achillea millefolium), heartleaf arnica (Arnica cordifolia), pinegrass, bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata), Sandberg bluegrass (Poa secunda), fescues (Festuca idahoensis and F. scabrella), prairie junegrass (Koeleria cristata), and sedges (Carex spp.) [16,25,33]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Facultative Seral Species Silky lupine can persist under partial shade, but its cover increases with more sunlight and less competition [35]. It has greater abundance in early seral stages of plant succession in the Wallowa-Snake Province, Oregon [16]. Silky lupine is also present in late seral Douglas-fir/pinegrass habitats in Idaho [35], and in climax ponderosa pine forests throughout the western United States [42]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Silky lupine is a cool-season species [40]. In western Montana, growth begins in May and flowering occurs from June through July. Seed dissemination takes place in August, and plants are dried by the end of that month [28]. Throughout its range, silky lupine generally flowers from June through August or September [6].


SPECIES: Lupinus sericeus
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Silky lupine has a deep root system and sprouts from the caudex following disturbance [24,35]. Seeds are stored in the soil and germinate on mineral soil in full sun or partial shade. Stored seeds may be 100 percent viable [20,35]. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : Caudex, growing points in soil Ground residual colonizer (on-site, initial community)


SPECIES: Lupinus sericeus
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Aboveground portions of silky lupine are most likely destroyed by fire. Deeply buried roots probably survive even severe fires. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Some lupines are fire survivors and are present in the initial stages of postfire plant succession [17]. Silky lupine is generally enhanced or not affected by fire [16]. Following fire, it germinates from buried seed. It is a prominant forb in burned aspen stands in the Caribou National Forest, Wyoming [3]. It is also dominant in postfire communities in mountain big sagebrush/rough fescue (Artemisia tridentata ssp. vaseyana/Festuca scabrella) and Douglas-fir/mountain big sagebrush vegetation types in the Helena National Forest, Montana [34]. Silky lupine showed no significant change in cover after fire in fescue grasslands in western Montana, although burning occured before August senescence [1]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : The Research Project Summary Changes in grassland vegetation following fire in northern Idaho provides information on prescribed fire and postfire response of silky lupine and other plant species that was not available when this species review was written. FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Lupinus sericeus
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In: Proceedings, Tall Timbers fire ecology conference and Intermountain Fire Research Council fire and land management symposium; 1974 October 8-10; Missoula, MT. No. 14. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 355-373. [1496] 25. Martinka, Robert R. 1972. Structural characteristics of blue grouse territories in southwestern Montana. Journal of Wildlife Management. 36(2): 498-510. [16751] 26. McConnell, Burt R.; Smith, Justin G. 1970. Response of understory vegetation to ponderosa pine thinning in eastern Washington. Journal of Range Management. 23(3): 208-212. [15839] 27. Mueggler, W. F. 1970. Objectionable characteristics of range plants. In: Range and wildlife habitat evaluation--a research symposium: Proceedings; 1968 May; Flagstaff; Tempe, AZ. Misc. Publ. 1147. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 63-70. [12986] 28. Mueggler, Walter F. 1983. Variation in production and seasonal development of mountain grasslands in western Montana. Research Paper INT-316. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 16 p. [1710] 29. Plummer, A. Perry. 1970. Plants for revegetation of roadcuts and other disturbed or eroded areas. Range Improvement Notes. [Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Region]; 15(1): 1-10. [1897] 30. Ralphs, M. H.; Olsen, J. D. 1987. Alkaloids and palatability of poisonous plants. In: Provenza, Frederick D.; Flinders, Jerran T.; McArthur, E. Durant, compilers. Proceedings--symposium on plant-herbivore interactions; 1985 August 7-9; Snowbird, UT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-222. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 78-83. [7400] 31. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843] 32. Riggs, Robert Alexander. 1977. Winter habitat use patterns and populations of bighorn sheep in Glacier National Park. Moscow, ID: University of Idaho. 87 p. Thesis. [112] 33. Schlatterer, Edward F. 1972. A preliminary description of plant communities found on the Sawtooth, White Cloud, Boulder and Pioneer Mountains. Unpublished report. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Region. 111 p. [2076] 34. Schwecke, Deitrich A.; Hann, Wendell. 1989. Fire behavior and vegetation response to spring and fall burning on the Helena National Forest. In: Baumgartner, David M.; Breuer, David W.; Zamora, Benjamin A.; [and others], compilers. Prescribed fire in the Intermountain region: Symposium proceedings; 1986 March 3-5; Spokane, WA. Pullman, WA: Washington State University, Cooperative Extension: 135-142. [11260] 35. Steele, Robert; Geier-Hayes, Kathleen. 1993. The Douglas-fir/pinegrass habitat type in central Idaho: succession and management. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-298. 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