Sicklekeel Lupine (Lupinus albicaulis)

More size information here.

Easy, attractive, mid-sized lupine!

Lupines usually have blue-purple flowers, and coincidentally they are often hosts to blue butterflies! (Or maybe not coincidentally? Don't look at me, I'm not an entomologist). This lupine breaks the mold a bit - its flowers are usually somewhere between purple and white. Sometimes they are even yellow! Bit of a grab bag, this one.

Like many other lupines, the Sicklekeel Lupine does host at least one blue butterfly - the Puget Blue (Icaricia Icarioides Blackmorei).

We would describe the shape of this plant as "vaguely menorah shaped". All of its flower spikes curve upward in a very attractive way. It might win an award for Best Shaped Lupine, if such a thing were a real award.

Many common names are pretty descriptive. "Big Leaf Maple", for instance, gives you a good idea of what that plant's about. So what does "Sicklekeel" mean? Well, lupines are part of Fabaceae, the legume family. Legume flowers have three types of petal - banner petals, wing petals, and keel petals. Keel petals are the bottom petals, and in lupines, they're not very noticeable. Someone must have thought these particular keels look like a sickle. In our opinion, kind of a silly thing to name a plant after. But there you go.

Perennial (multiple years)
Full sun to part sun
Moist soil which mostly dries out in summer
Purple to whitish, occasionally yellow
Bloom Period:
Mid summer to late summer
Native Range:
Washington to California
Typical Habitat:
Prairies, meadows, dry hillsides. Often partly shaded.