categoryZShrubs Shrubs List 
categoryZDeciduous Deciduous List 

TREE LUPIN

YELLOW BUSH LUPINE

Lupinus arboreus

Pea Family [Fabaceae]  

month8may month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug

category
category8Shrubs
category
category8Deciduous
status
statusZneophyte
flower
flower8yellow
morph
morph8zygo
petals
petalsZ5
type
typeZspiked
stem
stem8round
toxicity
toxicityZmedium

3rd June 2010, Walney Airport perimeter fence, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Grows on old sand dunes near the coast.


3rd June 2010, Walney Airport perimeter fence, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Is an (evergreen) shrub and NOT a tree. Can grow up to 2 metres high, but lasts but seven or so years. As a shrub, it is highly branched.


11th June 2009, Hall Road, Sefton Coast, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
An older specimen, with flowers in elongated spikes.


3rd June 2010, Walney Airport perimeter fence, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Whorls of creamy-yellow pea-type flowers on a terminal spike. Leaves palmate with seven to eleven narrow, lanceolate leaflets, whitish on the edges. Stems can be greeny-yellow to purple covered in short downy hairs.


3rd June 2010, Walney Airport perimeter fence, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Spires of bi-laterally symmetric sulfur-yellow flowers.


3rd June 2010, Walney Airport perimeter fence, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Spire of un-opened flowers.


11th June 2009, Hall Road, Sefton Coast, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
As it grows, the spire is seen to consist of whorls of flowers.


11th June 2009, Hall Road, Sefton Coast, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The top-most part of the spire has broken off in the high coastal winds extant at that time to reveal the nature of the whorls.


3rd June 2010, Walney Airport perimeter fence, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Pea-like flowers.


3rd June 2010, Walney Airport perimeter fence, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Leaves palmate with many narrow leaflets. Silky hairy below, showing on the edge as a white rim.


3rd June 2010, Walney Airport perimeter fence, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Stems semi-woody, purplish when more mature, covered in short downy hairs, as are the backs of the leaflets (bottom right).


14th July 2010, Birkdale Dunes, Sefton Coast, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
After flowering, the seed pods weigh heavily on drooping branches.


14th July 2010, Birkdale Dunes, Sefton Coast, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Seed pods look very much like pea pods, but are highly poisonous. They are covered in fine hairs.


Some similarities to : Lupins, but is, after all, related to them.

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature : Lupin-like flowers on a shrub up to 2m tall.

No relation to : Trees, it is not a tree.

It is an evergreen shrub that grows quickly, up to 2 metres and lasts for up to seven years only. Occupies old sand dunes near the sea. Also grows on waste lands. It belongs to the Pea family and is related to Lupins. Dies in severe frosts, which are un-common near the sea, where it mostly thrives. It originated from California, and is now rapidly spreading in the UK. The seeds are contained within stiff hairy pods rather like small pea pods.

The flowers smell of honey.

QUINOLIZIDINE & BIS-QUINOLIZIDINE ALKALOIDS

Tree Lupin contains several toxic quinolizidine and bis-quinolizidine alkaloids, especially in the seeds.

Lupinine is a toxic quinolizidine alkaloid found in many species of Lupinus, including Tree Lupin. It is a sub-unit of the Lupanines which are bis-quinolizidines (which have two fused quinolizidine moieties) shown below. [In chemistry, a single letter difference in the spelling can make all the difference to the chemical formulae].

THRF (TetraHydroRhombiFoline) is present at about 2.4%, whilst that of Lupanine at 1.6% and 13-HydroxyLupanine at 1%. Sparteine is also present. Some or all of these are present in other, but not all, plants of the Pea Family.

Both Lupanine and Sparteine are bis-isoquinolizidine alkaloids, and in the case of Sparteine has perfect symmetry between the two identical fused halves which share a common bridge. The symptoms of Sparteine poisoning include headache, dizziness, sleepiness, eye flickering double vision, palpitations, cardial pain, timgling of extremities, power loss in legs, and erythryma. Stronger intoxication leads to strychnine-type symptoms of paralysis, convulsions, and death from suffocating whilst the heart is still beating within 4 to 5 hours. Sparteine indirectly blocks the sodium channels causing brachycardia and a decrease in blood pressure. Due to the blocking of sodium channels, Sparteine has found medical uses in treating heart arrhythmia and during childberth (it is an oxytocic, causing uterine contractions) but poisonings have occurred in some patients who are slower to metabolise the drug away than others. Sparteine works by blocking the Na+ channels, and is also used medicinally as an antidote to some cardiac glycoside poisons as found in Lily of the Valley, and also acts as an antidote to some snake venoms.

Lupanine is an agonist of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, affecting the Central Nervous System.


  Lupinus arboreus  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Fabaceae  

Distribution
 family8Pea family8Fabaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Lupinus
Lupinus
(Lupins)

TREE LUPIN

YELLOW BUSH LUPINE

Lupinus arboreus

Pea Family [Fabaceae]  

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