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.
Did You Know?
Crissy Field was the only Army airfield in the western United States continuously active from 1919 to 1936.