Chamisso's Lupine

(Lupinus chamissonis)
Chamissos Lupine

Chamisso's Lupine at Lobos Creek dunes.

Will Elder, NPS


Origin Of Genus Name: Lupinus is Latin for "wolf". Chamissonis is named after Ludolf Adlbert von Chamisso, French-born German botanist.

Presidio Locations: Found in coastal scrub and dunes.

Range In State: California coast. The Presidio is the type locality for this species.

Description: This native shrub of the Pea Family has violet to blue flowers and silvery white hairs covering their gray-green, palmate leaves having 7 to 10 leaflets. All Lupines produce seeds in pods that look like pea pods and contain alkaloids which are extremely poisonous. Blooms March to July.

Native Californian Uses: The Coast Miwok used the Chamisso's Lupine roots to make cords and ropes. The cords were then used to make beads and shells round and uniform in size: thin, flat shell disks were threaded onto the cords and rubbed against sandstone until filed to the desired shape. The Maidu leached the leaves in a running stream of water overnight to make them palatable.

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