Fabaceae: Pea Family — Perennial & Shrubby Lupines
Most lupines are easily recognized as such with their distinct clusters of flowers in spikes, sometimes short, sometimes quite tall. Leaves are typically palmately compound with leaflets ranging from the very narrow to the comparatively broad. If in doubt, it is useful to note whether the flowers are in whorls around the stem or not. It can also be critical (for example in distinguishing Silver Bush Lupine (Lupinus albifrons var. albifrons) from Summer Lupine (Lupinus formosus var. formosus)) to look at the keel to see the pattern of hairs. Some are ciliate on both the top and bottom of the keel; some have hairs only near the claw (base), others only near the tip. Photographs of many of these appear below.