Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Lupinus plattensis
(Nebraska lupine)



Lupinus plattensis (Nebraska lupine)


  • Last modified
  • 24 September 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Lupinus plattensis
  • Preferred Common Name
  • Nebraska lupine
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • Lupinus plattensis is a fast-growing, perennial herb native to the USA. It can be weedy or invasive primarily in disturbed and ruderal areas, within and outside its native distribution range. The species spread...

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Lupinus plattensis S. Watson

Preferred Common Name

  • Nebraska lupine

International Common Names

  • English: platte lupine
  • Spanish: guandulillo; lupin; lupino

Summary of Invasiveness

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Lupinus plattensis is a fast-growing, perennial herb native to the USA. It can be weedy or invasive primarily in disturbed and ruderal areas, within and outside its native distribution range. The species spreads both by seed and vegetatively by rootstocks, and has the potential to rapidly colonize disturbed areas. Currently, it is listed as invasive only in the Dominican Republic, although no specific impacts have been recorded.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Fabales
  •                         Family: Fabaceae
  •                             Subfamily: Faboideae
  •                                 Genus: Lupinus
  •                                     Species: Lupinus plattensis

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Lupinus is a large and diverse genus comprising about 200-500 species of annual and perennial herbs, shrubs and small trees. Lupinus species are distributed worldwide, but are more diverse in the New World, with over 90% of them occurring in temperate and subtropical zones of North and South America, ranging from Washington State (USA) to southern Argentina and Chile. Only 12-13 species are considered native to the Mediterranean region and Africa, with some populations extending to highlands of East African tropical areas (Aïnouche and Bayer, 1999; Stevens, 2012; Australian Government, 2013). 


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Stems erect, from an underground rootstock, appressed silky-villous, branched. Leaflets 7-10, oblanceolate or short-spatulate, obtuse or sometimes subacute, usually with a glaucescent hue, appressed-pubescent beneath, glabrous above. Raceme elongated, loosely large-flowered. Petals pale, blue or purplish; the standard with a conspicuous darker spot (Coulter and Nelson, 1909).


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L. plattensis is native to North America, occurring in Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, Oklahoma, Montana, New Mexico and Texas (USDA-ARS, 2017; USDA-NRCS, 2017). It is listed as introduced and invasive in the Dominican Republic (Mir, 2012).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

North America

USAPresentNativeBased on regional distribution
-ColoradoPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2017
-MontanaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2017
-NebraskaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2017
-New MexicoPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2017
-OklahomaPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2017
-TexasPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2017
-WyomingPresentNativeUSDA-NRCS, 2017

Central America and Caribbean

Dominican RepublicPresentIntroduced Invasive Mir, 2012


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L. plattensis grows on hills, native grass prairies, disturbed areas, pastures and meadows, at elevations ranging from 1500 to 2500 m (Georgia, 1914; Rydberg, 1917).

Biology and Ecology

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The chromosome number reported for L. plattensis is n = 24 (Ward, 1983).

Reproductive Biology

L. plattensis has blue, hermaphroditic flowers, with a dark spot on the standard and paddle-shaped leaflets. In North America, it attracts native bees, bumblebees, other insects and hummingbirds (USDA-NRCS, 2017).

Physiology and Phenology

L. plattensis is a fast-growing, perennial herb (USDA-NRCS, 2017). In North America, L. plattensis produces flowers from June to July and fruits set from July to August (Georgia, 1914).

Environmental Requirements

L. plattensis prefers to grow in moist habitats and seasonally wet soils, although it also grows on dry, sandy soils (USDA-NRCS, 2017).


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As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Tolerated < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Tolerated < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Preferred Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Tolerated Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
45 1500 2500

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 5 25


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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Mean annual rainfall5001500mm; lower/upper limits

Notes on Natural Enemies

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Aphids and powdery mildew are known to be problematic for L. plattensis and other Lupinus species (USDA-NRCS, 2017).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Natural Dispersal

L. plattensis spreads by seed (which can be dispersed by wind and water) and vegetatively by rootstocks (Georgia, 1914).

Intentional Introduction

L. plattensis has been introduced as an ornamental and honey flora plant (USDA-NRCS, 2017).

Economic Impact

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If consumed in large quantities, L. plattensis can be toxic to cattle, ruminant livestock and wildlife (USDA-NRCS, 2017).

Environmental Impact

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L. plattensis is a fast-growing herb that can rapidly colonize disturbed areas, with the potential to become weedy and invasive (USDA-NRCS, 2017).

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Tolerates, or benefits from, cultivation, browsing pressure, mutilation, fire etc
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Long lived
  • Fast growing
  • Reproduces asexually
Impact outcomes
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Modification of nutrient regime
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Hybridization
  • Poisoning
  • Rapid growth
  • Rooting


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Environmental Services

L. plattensis can be used as an ornamental and honey flora plant (USDA-NRCS, 2017).

Prevention and Control

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Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.


Physical/mechanical control

Areas invaded by L. plattensis should be controlled by preventing seed production, cutting while in early bloom or even before flowering (Georgia, 1914).


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Aïnouche, A. K., Bayer, R. J., 1999. Phylogenetic relationships in Lupinus (Fabaceae: Papilionoideae) based on internal transcribed spacer sequences (ITS) of nuclear ribosomal DNA. American Journal of Botany, 86(4), 590-607. doi: 10.2307/2656820

Australian Government, 2013. The biology of Lupinus L. (lupin or lupine). Canberra, Australia: Department of Health and Ageing, Office of the Gene Technology Regulator, 64 pp.$FILE/biologylupin2013-2.pdf

Coulter JM, Nelson A, 1909. New manual of botany of the central Rocky Mountains (vascular plants). Cincinnati, USA: American Book Company.

Georgia AE, 1914. A Manual of weeds with descriptions of all the most pernicious and troublesome plants in the United States and Canada, their habits of growth and distribution, with methods of control. New York, USA: The Macmillan Company.

Mir C, 2012. [English title not available]. (Estrategia Nacional de especies exóticas invasoras realizado en el marco del Proyecto “Mitigando las amenazas de las especies exóticas invasoras en el Caribe Insular”). Dominican Republic: Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales Santo Domingo

Rydberg PA, 1917. Flora of the Rocky Mountains and adjacent plains. New York, USA: Rydberg

Stevens PF, 2012. Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. St. Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden.

USDA-ARS, 2017. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online Database. Beltsville, USA: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory.

USDA-NRCS, 2017. The PLANTS Database. Baton Rouge, USA: National Plant Data Center.

Ward DE, 1983. Chromosome counts from New Mexico and southern Colorado. Phytologia, 54:302-309


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11/03/17 Original text by:

Julissa Rojas-Sandoval, Department of Botany-Smithsonian NMNH, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA

Distribution Maps

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