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Thermopsis villosa

Thermopsis villosa (Walter) Fernald & B.G. Schub.

Thermopsis caroliniana M.A. Curtis

Carolina Lupine, Carolina Bushpea, Aaron’s Rod, Bush Pea, False Lupine, Thermopsis

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderFabalesLegumes (pea and bean families)
FamilyFabaceaeLegume family (peas and beans)
GenusThermopsisFrom the Greek thermos for lupine and opsis, “like,” bearing yellow lupine-like flower heads
SpeciesvillosaHairy

About plant names...

Carolina lupines are native to the southwestern United States. These plants are not true lupines, but the flower stalks look much like those of lupines. In fact, Thermopsis comes from the Greek thermos, or “lupine”; and opsis, “like.”[1] Villosa means “with hairs.”

Identification: Plants are 3-5' (91-152 cm) tall × 24-36" (60-91 cm) around, and hairy. Leaves are in groups of three, elliptic or top-shaped. (These are easily distinguished from true lupines, which have palmlike rosettes of leaflets.) Yellow flowers form on stalks up to 12" (30 cm) long. Fruits are hairy pods.

Online References:

Thermopsis villosa at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Thermopsis villosa on Erv Evans' site at the North Carolina State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Thermopsis villosa at the University of Wisconsin's Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium

Thermopsis villosa on CalPhotos

Thermopsis villosa on Southeastern Flora, the Southeastern U.S. Plant Identification Resource

Thermopsis villosa (Carolina Lupine, Carolina Bushpea, Aaron’s Rod, Bush Pea, False Lupine, Thermopsis)

7/17/2010 · Stan and Connie’s, Falmouth, ME
≈ 14 × 21" (34 × 52 cm) ID is uncertain

1If you were wondering, the Greek word thermos means both “lupine” and “hot.”

Thermopsis villosa description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Thermopsis villosa (Carolina Lupine, Carolina Bushpea, Aaron’s Rod, Bush Pea, False Lupine, Thermopsis)

7/17/2010 · Stan and Connie’s, Falmouth, ME
≈ 12 × 17" (29 × 44 cm) ID is uncertain

Thermopsis villosa (Carolina Lupine, Carolina Bushpea, Aaron’s Rod, Bush Pea, False Lupine, Thermopsis)

7/21/2010 · Stan and Connie’s, Falmouth, ME · By Constance B. Kent

Range: Zones 4-9:

About this map...