Silvery Lupine (Lupinus argenteus subsp. ingratus), family Fabaceae (Pea)
What a graceful and nicely balanced plant this specimen was. This subspecies of argenteus is a surprise for Silvery Lupine which is more commonly a pretty shade of blue. William Weber in the book Colorado Flora, Eastern Slope describes the subspecies as often found in the Front Range foothills. Our sighting was a bit higher. This subspecies is found in only 3 states according to the USDA plant database: Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. It is a native of the continental United States. However there are also two recorded sightings of the subspecies in Wyoming; one in 1956 and another in 1960. In the genus Lupin (often spelled Lupine) there are 600 species alone, 'with major centers of diversity
in South America and western North America'.
USES: From the excellent website Native American Ethnobotany: Navaho and Ramah used a poultice of crushed leaves applied to poison ivy blisters.
Plant location: In the area of Creedmore Lake Colorado. The date sighted was August 31, 2008. The plant is a perennial subshrub forb. Typical habitats are dry open sites, fields, prairies, roadsides, forest openings, and hillsides.
Bloom period: June to Spetember. The usual finger or fan look of the foliage of Lupine. Per WIKIPEDIA is this: 'The yellow legume seeds of lupins, commonly called lupin beans, were popular with the Romans, who spread the plant's cultivation throughout the Roman Empire; hence common names like lupini in Romance languages. Lupin beans are commonly sold in a salty solution in jars (like olives and pickles) and can be eaten with or without the skin. Lupins are also cultivated as forage and grain legumes. Lupini dishes are most commonly found in Mediterranean countries, especially in Portugal, Egypt, and Italy, and also in Brazil and in Spanish Harlem, where they are popularly consumed with beer. The Andean variety of this bean is from the Andean Lupin (tarwi, L. mutabilis)
and was a widespread food in the Incan Empire. The Andean Lupin and the Mediterranean L. albus (White Lupin), L. angustifolius (Blue Lupin) and Lupinus hirsutus are also edible after soaking the seeds for some days in salted water. They are known as altramuz in Spain and Argentina. In Portuguese the lupin beans are known as tremo?os, and in Antalya (Turkey) as tirmis[verification needed]. Lupins were also used by Native Americans in North America, e.g. the Yavapai people.' End quote.