Lupinus perennis L—Wild lupine
FAMILY: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)—the Bean Family (see Crotalaria).
PHENOLOGY: Lupinus perennis fiowers in late spring from April into July.
DISTRIBUTION: Wild lupine is found in Pennsylvania in a diversity of habitats ranging from dry open woods and clearings to moist sandy soil.
PLANT CHARACTERISTICS: Wild lupine is an erect, perennial shrub: 2-6 dm tall, thinly pubescent; leaves: palmately lobed; lower leaves: 5 cm long, 7-11 leaflets; petioles: 2-6 cm; racemes: erect, 1-2dm, numerous, blue varying to pink or white flowers; flowers: 2-lipped; calyx: the upper lip. 4 mm, 2-toothed; the lower entire, 8 mm; corolla: standard, 12-16 mm, half as wide; wings united toward the summit; stamens: 10, monadelphous; filaments forming a closed tube for half their length; pod: pubescent, 3-5 cm long, oblong, flattened
POISONOUS PARTS: The foliage and seeds are considered poisonous. The vast literature on toxicity of Lupinus spp. mainly involves western taxa, e.g rangeland species. Toxicity may vary among species, produce different symptoms in various classes of livestock, and fluctuate according to season and habitat.
SYMPTOMS: The reactions to ingestion are paradoxical. Some animals show depression, others excitation. Respiratory problems generally develop with labored breathing, coma or convulsions, and death.
Postmortem: No distinctive lesions are seen in American cases of lupine poisoning Pregnant cows, pastured in areas of lupine growth, can bear calves afflicted with arthrogryposis, scoliosis, torticollis, and cleft palate. Postmortem in mycotoxin-induced European lupinosis shows gross lesions: signs of cirrhosis, liver and kidney degeneration, pulmonary edema, congestion of internal organs and gastrointestinal irritation; histological lesions: focal centrilobular and midzonal hepatocellar necrosis; hyperplasia of Kupffer cells and bile ductules; and hepatic necrosis and cirrhosis.
POISONOUS PRINCIPLES: The majority of the more than 20 alkaloids isolated from Lupinus are quinolizidine alkaloids with some piperidine and other components known Lupanine and lupinine are well-studied compounds from Lupinu;, spateine appears less well characterized. In Europe, the disease called lupinosis is attributable to mycotoxins produced by the fungus Phomopsis leptostomiformis, which grows on Lupinus species.
CONFUSED TAXA: Several species are cultivated for garden purposes, and many highly ornamental lupines have been developed through hybridization and selection. The "Russell" group, of uncertain parentage, is potentially toxic. The uninitiated gardener might confuse larkspur or delphinium (see Delphinium) with lupines. The three are distinct, however, as both larkspur and delphinium have spurred floral parts not present in lupines.
SPECIES OF ANIMALS AFFECTED: In western rangeland sheep are more commonly poisoned by lupines than horses or cattle. No uncontested cases of lupine poisoning are known from Pennsylvania.
TREATMENT: ( 11a)(b); (26)
OF INTEREST: Because alkaloids remain toxic in dried plants, contaminated hay also is poisonous. Alkaloids are generally more concentrated in plants after flowering, perhaps due to higher concentrations in the seeds.