Bush Lupine, Lupinus longifolius
Perennial shrub up to 5 feet tall, blooms Apr-Jun. Leaves have 6-9 leaflets up to 2 inches long and silky. Flowers are bluish-purple. A mature plant in bloom is quite striking. Pictured above.
Nettle Lupine, Stinging Lupine, Lupinus hirsutissimus
Annual, 1 to 3 feet high blooms from Mar-May. This species is very common on recently burned areas. Small, painfully stinging hairs cover leaves and flowers. Flowers are reddish-purple. Pictured below (Stagecoach Trail off the 118 freeway in Simi Valley, March 2006).
Dove Lupine, Lupinus bicolor
Annual, 4 to 16 inches high, blooms Mar-May. Like Nettle Lupine, it is also commonly found in recently burned or otherwise disturbed areas. It too has small hairs but is not known for stinging.
Broad Leaved Lupine, Lupinus latifolius
Perennial, 2 to 4 feet high, blooms Apr-Jul. Leaflets 1 1/2 to 4 inches long. Found in protected canyons.
Succulent Lupine, Arroyo Lupine, Foothill Lupine,Lupinus succulentus
Annual, 6 inches to 2 feet high blooms Feb-May. Leaflets up to 3 inches long, small non-stinging hairs. More common in clay soil. Thicker and fleshier than other lupines but not like true succulents.