• East view from Crissy Field overlook with old Coast Guard station on left and city on right

    Presidio of San Francisco


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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