Silvery lupine brightening the Colorado high country!
Lupinus argenteus is a member of the pea family (fabaceae) native to western North America, and like most lupine species, vary greatly in size, hairiness, height, and flower color. Lupines also hybridize quite easily which adds to the variation and makes exact identification difficult.
It’s flowers quickly bloom upwards from a hairy spike (as seen in photo 5) into a showy stalk of purple, navy or white flowers. After a long flowering period, flowers age and fade, and are replaced by the fruits, which are green seed pods (photos 6/7/8) that resemble a fuzzy snap pea.
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