CPC Plant Profile: Biddle's Lupine
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Plant Profile

Biddle's Lupine (Lupinus biddlei)

The large palmately compound leaves of Lupinus biddlei stand out against other plants of the region which tend to have very small leaves. Photo Credit: J. Kierstead
Description
  • Global Rank: T3 - Vulnerable
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Fabaceae
  • State: OR
  • Nature Serve ID: 161527
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 04/01/1990

This lupine found in eastern Oregon is a treat for the eyes. Its large, palmately-compound, hairy leaves are a vibrant green. These are set off by a tall spike of white flowers. The seeds, about the size of a lentil or slightly larger, range in color from light peach to a beautiful brick. Lupinus biddlei seems to be restricted to two distinct locations. Populations are found in two main geographic areas of eastern Oregon, which are separated by approximately 30 miles (50km). No plants are found between the two regions (Nora Taylor, pers. comm.).

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Updates
  • 09/19/2020
  • Propagation Research

Germination trials at BBG indicate that Lupinus biddlei readily germinates under a variety of conditions. All treatments (cold stratification for 8 weeks or no cold stratification followed by either 68F (20C) or alternating 50F/68F (10/20C) resulted in 100% germination (BBG File).

  • 09/19/2020
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

Seeds collected from both major geographic areas stored at The Berry Botanic Garden.

  • 09/19/2020
  • Seed Collection

Seeds collected from both major geographic areas stored at The Berry Botanic Garden.

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

Endemic to Oregon. Because of the number of occurrences (27) and the number of plants (40,000), its ability to survive in disturbed habitat and the lack of threats, this entity was given the above rank. Taxonomic questions also plague this entity: Intermountain Flora has lumped this taxon with L. polyphyllus (a very common species).

Edward Guerrant, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

Grazing by cattle before seeds are released. Herbivory by rabbits and grasshoppers (Wright 1990). Burning and subsequent re-seeding with competitive plants (Meinke 1982). Road grading prior to seed set (Meinke 1982). Insect damage to flowers and f

Edward Guerrant, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

As of 2001: Two main geographical centers separated by about 30 or 40 miles (48-65 km), each comprised of 3-4 sites, some with multiple populations or sub-populations. Unknown numbers of individuals as little monitoring or inventorying has been done. Populations appear stable (Nora Taylor, pers. comm.). Population sizes in 1989 ranged from 3 individuals to several thousand individuals (Wright 1990).

Edward Guerrant, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

Germination trials at BBG indicate that Lupinus biddlei readily germinates under a variety of conditions. All treatments (cold stratification for 8 weeks or no cold stratification followed by either 68F (20C) or alternating 50F/68F (10/20C) resulted in 100% germination (BBG File). Status report compiled in 1990. Historical sites were visited and new sites were located (Wright 1990).

Edward Guerrant, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

Seeds collected from both major geographic areas stored at The Berry Botanic Garden. Sites on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land are grazed at various times during the year. Lupinus biddlei emerges and completes its life cycle so early in the year that it does not seem to be significantly impacted by cattle grazing (Nora Taylor, pers. comm.). Limited monitoring (Nora Taylor, pers. comm.)

Edward Guerrant, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

Determine competitive role of non-native species (Meinke 1982) Determine ecological requirements (Meinke 1982) Clarify taxonomic status. It was listed as a variety of Lupinus polyphilus in Intermountain Flora (1989). Study reproductive and pollination biology. Monitor to determine population trends (Wright 1990).

Edward Guerrant, Ph.D.
  • 01/01/2010

Collect and store seeds from all known populations. Determine propagation and reintroduction protocols.

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Photos
Nomenclature
Taxon Lupinus biddlei
Authority Henderson ex C.P. Sm.
Family Fabaceae
CPC Number 2696
ITIS 516200
USDA LUBI4
Common Names Biddle's lupine | Oregon lupine
Associated Scientific Names Lupinus biddlei | Lupinus amabilis | Lupinus oreganus var. oreganus
Distribution OR: Basin and Range, Owyhee Uplands (Burns and Vale BLM Districts)
State Rank
State State Rank
Oregon S3
Habitat

In the northern part of the range, plants are found on eroded sedimentary soils in and adjacent to draws and on hillsides with mostly southern exposure. In the southern part of the range, plants are found most often on well-drained alluvial soils in flats and bottomlands, occasionally extending up the slopes. Overall, the elevations range from approximately 3450-4450 ft (1050-1360 m). Lupinus biddlei grows in an Artemisia tridentata (big sage) plant community along with Poa sandbergii, Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass), Agropyron cristatum (crested wheatgrass), and Lupinus caudatus. The region is very dry, as it receives less than 15 inches (38 cm) of precipitation per year.

Ecological Relationships

Little is known about the ecology of Lupinus biddlei. The specific pollinators are not known. No studies have been done to understand its ecology (Nora Taylor, pers. comm.).Biddle's lupine begins to emerge in late-April and early-May. In the region that it inhabits, patches of snow may still cover the ground. It blooms, sets seed and drops all its seed by the end of June. The region is susceptible to hard freezes for the duration of the plant's growing season, until the end of June. In particularly cold years, developing pods may freeze thereby killing developing seeds. Lupinus biddlei does not reliably set seed every year for this reason. However, plants appear to be long-lived, and populations appear stable despite sporadic reproductive success (Nora Taylor, pers. comm.). Lupinus biddlei is able to tolerate moderate disturbances to the surrounding area. Individuals can be found growing along roadsides (Meinke 1982), but they can be destroyed by road grading or clearing if directly damaged.

Pollinators
Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Reintroduction
Lead Institution State Reintroduction Type Year of First Outplanting

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