Native. Annual. Propagates by seeds.
Time of bloom: April to June.
Seed-time: June to August.
Range: Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas, westward throughout the whole Rocky Mountain region to the Sierra Nevadas, southward to Arizona and New Mexico.
A low but rather stout plant, four to eight inches tall, the stems diffusely branched from the base and covered with fine, spreading hairs. Leaves on slim hairy petioles slightly dilated at the base; leaflets five to seven, oblong, sessile, smooth above but hairy underneath, little more than an inch in length and tapering toward the base from slightly wider tips. Racemes terminal, one to three inches long, on very short peduncles, the pea-like flowers closely crowded, small, about a quarter-inch in length, deep blue. Pods about three-fourths of an inch long, densely hairy, tipped with an awl-like beak, usually two-seeded.
Low Lupines furnish an immense amount of good forage in spring and in autumn, but during the season of seed development they are considered dangerously unwholesome for grazing animals, particularly sheep.
As the plant is an annual, the persistent prevention of seed development by frequent close cutting will destroy it. Dormant seeds may furnish a subsequent crop, which should have similar treatment.