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Cobb Mountain Lupine (Lupinus sericatus) Potential Occurrence: Likely to Occur

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Magnoliopsida (Flowering Plants): Fabaceae

Cobb Mountain Lupine (Lupinus sericatus)

Potential Occurrence: Likely to Occur


Federal: None

State: None

Photo: Cherilyn Burton

CNPS: 1B.2

Photo: Jorg Fleige

ther: None

Species Description: The Cobb Mountain Lupine is silvery to gray green with short appressed hairs and grows 15 to 50 cm high with cauline leaves clustered at base and leaflets widely spoon shaped (Hickman 1996). The inflorescence is a 10 to 30 cm long raceme, which can be open or dense with whorled deciduous flowers (Hickman 1996). The flowers are papilionaceous and purple to violet with the upper keel margins ciliate from claw to tip (Hickman 1996). The fruit is a 2 to 3 cm hairy legume with 3 to 7 light brown seeds (Hickman 1996).

Nomenclature: Lupinus sericatus Kellogg Fabaceae (USDA 2010)

Synonyms: none

Distribution: This species is found in the southern inner North Coast Ranges in Lake, Napa, Colusa, Sonoma, and Mendocino Counties (Hickman 1996; Calflora 2010). This species has also been documented in the outer North Coast Ranges (CalFlora 2010).

Life History & Threats: The Cobb Mountain Lupine is a perennial herb blooming from March to June and is threatened by geothermal development, habitat alteration, logging, road maintenance, road widening, and herbicides (CNPS 2010)

Habitat & Habitat Associations:

Vegetation Types: Habitat for this species is broadleaved upland forest dominated by evergreen or deciduous broadleaved trees more than 5 meters tall, chaparral dominated by mostly evergreen shrubs with thick, leathery leaves and stiff branches, lower montane coniferous forests dominated by open to dense stands of conifers and broadleaved trees in the understory and cismontane woodland dominated by trees that are deciduous, evergreen or both with open canopies (CNPS 2010).

Topography and Microclimates: open, wooded slopes (Hickman 1996) and disturbed sites (CNPS 2010; NatureServe 2010).

Elevation: 275 to 1,525 m (CNPS 2010) (The Study Area ranges from 230 to 710 m)

Conceptual Basis for GIS Model Development: Potential habitat in the Study area was mapped as areas:

  • coniferous forest (i.e. Redwood-Douglas fir mix (Sequoia sempervirens-Pseudotsuga menziesii) and Pacific Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var.menziesii) with a multi-storied canopy

  • broadleaved upland forest (i.e., mixed, mixed montane or single dominant hardwoods with canopy cover > 40%).

  • cismontane woodland (i.e. mixed, mixed montane or single dominant hardwoods with canopy cover < 40%).

  • chaparral (i.e. Northern Mixed Chaparral or scrub oak)

We additionally mapped possible best potential habitat in the areas identified above as areas with:

  • open canopy (< 40% canopy cover) on slopes (> 8 deg)

  • disturbance (i.e., roadsides).

Note that roadsides are the only GIS data layer that corresponds to “disturbance” in the Study Area, and other types of disturbance could not be mapped.

There was insufficient area below 245 m elevation within the study area to warrant using this elevational cutoff; therefore, elevation was not used to model the potential distribution of this species.

Potential Occurrence in the Galbreath Wildlands Preserve:

Habitat: Cobb Mountain Lupine occurs in chaparral, woodlands and forests, often occurring on open slopes and disturbed areas.

Habitat for this species is moderate to good. No chaparral occurs in the preserve and habitat is confined to cismontane woodlands, broadleaved upland and coniferous multistoried forest. Open slopes are generally abundant and moderate to high levels of disturbance on the Preserve may benefit this species. The Preserve has a history of logging. Timber harvest plans indicate that both clear cut and selection cut methods were used to harvest Redwood, Douglas Fir, and hardwoods at least between 1988 and 2000 and many temporary roads were created to harvest timber. In addition, a large Wild Boar population regularly turns over soil in many areas with woodlands and forests.

Nearest Occurrence:

Documented Occurrences in Galbreath Wildlands Preserve: Previous species list for the Galbreath Wildlands Preserve did not document this species (SSU Field Station and Nature Preserves 2010).

Nearest Occurrence to Galbreath Wildlands Preserve: This species is known from 2 occurrences in Mendocino County (Calflora 2010). The nearest occurrence is approximately 5 miles southeast of the Galbreath Wildlands Preserve in the Big Foot Mountain Quad in the top of the Middle Russian River watershed (Calflora 2010). Occurrence of this species on the Galbreath Wildlands Preserve would be a small eastern range extension relative to observed distances among known occurrences in other areas of California (Calflora 2010).

Summary: We anticipate the Cobb Mountain Lupine to be “Likely to Occur” because potential habitat is of moderate to good quality and the Preserve lies within the distributional range of this species.


Burton C. 2010. Lupinus sericatus Cobb Mountain Lupine.<>. Accessed 2011 May 15.

Calflora. 2010. Information on California plants for education, research and conservation. Accessed 2010 Jul 1.

California Native Plant Society (CNPS). 2010. Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants. Online edition, v7-10b. Accessed 2010 Jul1.

Hickman JC editor. 1996. The Jepson Manual Higher Plants of California. 3rd printing. London: University of California Press, Ltd. 634 p.

NatureServe. 2009. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. Accessed 2010 Jul 1.

SSU Field Stations and Nature Preserves. 2010. Galbreath Wildlands Preserve Vascular Plant List. Compiled by CNPS Milo Baker Chapter, Linden Schneider, and others. Accessed 2010 Jun.

Fleige J. 2007. Lupinus sericatus Cobb Mountain Lupine. . Accessed 2011 May 15.

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 2010. PLANTS Profile. . Accessed 2010 Jul 14.

Species Account Description: Linden Schneider

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