Lupinus nanus carnosulus (Greene) C.P.Sm.
Lupinus carnosulus Greene
Common Name: Fleshy Lupin
Lupinus affinis is an erect, annual plant, branching from the base and producing several stems up to 60cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
Lupinus species in general (and especially the seeds) contain a range of bitter-tasting alkaloids such as lupine, anagyrine, sparteine and hydroxylupanine. The pharmacological effects of these alkaloids are that they block ganglionic transmission, decrease cardiac contractility and contract uterine smooth muscle[
]. When ingested in moderate to large quantities they can cause symptoms such as respiratory depression and slow heartbeat, sleepiness and convulsions[
Alkaloid levels can vary greatly from species to species, and several members of the genus are used for food. In some species low-alkaloid, sweeter-tasting varieties have been developed. There are also techniques (particularly soaking and discarding the soak water) that lower the alkaloid levels.
Unless it is known that the plant is low in alkaloids then caution should be applied to any ingestion of the plant[
Fungal toxins can readily invade the crushed seed and can cause chronic illness[
Western N. America - southern Oregon, northern California
Banks and grassy slopes in coastal prairies, coastal scrub and mixed evergreen forest; at elevations up to 750 metres[
Members of this genus are mainly found in dry habitats, often on stony and low fertility soils[
]. In cultivation they generally grow well if given a sunny position in a deep, well-drained, moderately fertile soil with a neutral to slightly acid pH[
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria; these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
Young leaves - roasted and eaten as greens[
We have no specific information for this species, but the soakwater used to extract alkaloids from several edible species of lupin has been shown to be effective as a biocide[
Seed - pre-soak for 12 hours in warm water and sow in situ in mid spring[
]. Germination usually takes place within 2 weeks.