Lupinus nipomensis is a species of lupine known by the common name Nipomo Mesa lupine. It is endemic to the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes on the California Central Coast. Specifically, the plant is limited to the Guadalupe Dunes at the southern border of San Luis Obispo County.
There are five to seven colonies growing in a strip of sand dunes measuring less than three square miles in area. These colonies are generally considered to make up a single population.
The number of individual plants remaining has been observed to vary between 100 and 1,800, its abundance depending on the amount of rainfall. This is a federally listed endangered species.
Nipomo Mesa lupine is a a small, spreading annual herb with a stem reaching 10 to 20 centimeters in length. Each palmate leaf is made up of 5 to 7 narrow, succulent leaflets between 1 and 1.5 centimeters long and just a few millimeters wide.
The herbage is hairy in texture. The inflorescence is a small, crowded raceme of flowers each 6 to 7 millimeters long. The flower is pink with a lighter, sometimes yellowish spot on its banner. The fruit is a legume pod up to 2 centimeters long.
This plant is restricted to a small system of sand dunes all located on privately owned land. The biggest threats to its existence include invasive species of plants, particularly perennial veldtgrass (Ehrharta calycina), and herbivory by Botta's pocket gopher (Thomomys bottae).
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