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This genus is accepted, and its native range is E. Europe to Temp. Asia and Indian Subcontinent, Canada to U.S.A.
Thermopsis lanceolata


Legumes of the World. Edited by G. Lewis, B. Schrire, B. MacKinder & M. Lock. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. (2005)


Traditionally, the small tribe Thermopsideae includes six genera with a total of (43)–45–(46) species scattered through the mediterranean and temperate regions of N America, the Mediterranean Basin, and C to NE Asia (Turner, 1981). Recent molecular data, however, now places Pickeringia within the Cladrastis-Styphnolobium clade in the basal Papilionoideae (Wojciechowski et al., 2004). Thermopsis itself occurs in both N America and E Asia, and Baptisia is exclusively N American. The two species of Anagyris occur around the Mediterranean Basin and in Macaronesia. Piptanthus and Ammopiptanthus occur in E Asia. The tribe as a whole is absent from the S Hemisphere. The free stamens have always marked the tribe as distinct, and have led some to associate it with Sophoreae. Its earliest placement (e.g., Bentham, 1865) was in his Podalyrieae, in which he included Cyclopia and Podalyria, as well as many genera now placed in Mirbelieae. However, anatomical and phytochemical work (summarised by Turner, 1981) points to a closer relationship with Genisteae.

Molecular analyses (e.g., Pennington et al., 2001; Kajita et al., 2001; Wojciechowski, 2003) and studies combining molecular and phytochemical data (e.g., Käss & Wink, 1995; Wink & Mohamed, 2003), all associated Thermopsideae with Genisteae, and placed them as part of the ‘core genistoids’ (Thermopsideae, Sophoreae sens. strict., Euchresteae, Podalyrieae, Crotalarieae and Genisteae). The Thermopsideae form a clade sister to Sophoreae sens. strict. in some analyses (e.g., Crisp et al., 2000 [where Thermopsideae is strongly supported as monophyletic] and Wink & Mohamed, 2003). In other analyses, however, a monophyletic Thermopsideae is not supported (e.g., Käss & Wink, 1995; Kajita et al., 2001; Wojciechowski et al., 2004). In the latter analysis elements of the tribe are nested separately within a paraphyletic Sophoreae sens. strict. The combined Sophoreae sens. strict.-Thermopsideae clade is sister to a Podalyrieae- Crotalarieae-Genisteae clade. Ammopiptanthus does not appear to have been sequenced to date and its placement here is based on comments by Turner (1981). A recircumscribed Thermopsideae, excluding Pickeringia (Fig. 34), thus requires further study to ascertain its tribal composition and validity.

Isely (1998) considers the genus to comprise 8-10 species and treats the American taxa as 4 species (2 in W USA [and adjacent Canada] and 2 in SE USA)
false lupin
Mainly montane warm and continental temperate to subarctic woodland, forest margins, shrubland, grassland, desert and tundra (in Asia) and mediterranean shrubland and thicket (chapparal), forest, woodland and grassland (in N America)
C and E Asia (Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to Mongolia, Russia [Siberia and Far East], China, Japan and south to the Himalayas [13 spp.]) and N America (W Canada to S Dakota, New Mexico and California; and N Carolina and Tennessee to Alabama and Georgia [c. 10 spp.)

Used as ornamentals (e.g., T. rhombifolia (Pursh) Richardson var. montana (Nutt.) Isley, golden pea or golden banner) ; other ' false lupin ' species are sometimes weeds and are used in medicine and for erosion control

Native to:

Alabama, Altay, Amur, Arizona, British Columbia, Buryatiya, California, China North-Central, China South-Central, China Southeast, Chita, Colorado, East European Russia, East Himalaya, Georgia, Idaho, India, Inner Mongolia, Irkutsk, Japan, Kamchatka, Kazakhstan, Kentucky, Khabarovsk, Kirgizstan, Korea, Krasnoyarsk, Kuril Is., Manchuria, Maryland, Mongolia, Montana, Nansei-shoto, Nebraska, Nepal, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pakistan, Primorye, Qinghai, Sakhalin, South Carolina, South Dakota, South European Russi, Tadzhikistan, Tennessee, Tibet, Tuva, Utah, Uzbekistan, Virginia, Washington, West Himalaya, West Siberia, Wyoming, Xinjiang, Yakutskiya

Introduced into:

New York, Newfoundland, Wisconsin

Thermopsis R.Br. appears in other Kew resources:

First published in W.T.Aiton, Hortus Kew. 3: 3 (1811)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R., Nic Lughadha, E., Black, N., Turner, R. & Paton, A. (2021). The World Checklist of Vascular Plants, a continuously updated resource for exploring global plant diversity. Scientific Data 8: 215.

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

Legumes of the World Online