Mountain goldenbanner Thermopsis montana

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
false lupin


The plant known as 'mountain goldenbanner' is characterized by its showy, bright yellow flowers that closely resemble those of the pea family, to which it belongs. These flowers are typically arranged in elongated clusters at the top of the stems, creating a striking display during its blooming season. The foliage of the mountain goldenbanner is comprised of compound leaves, which are divided into smaller leaflets. These leaflets are generally oval-shaped with a pointed tip and are arranged neatly along the stem, giving the plant a lush, green appearance. Moreover, the overall structure of this perennial plant is somewhat bushy and robust, with stems that can be both erect and spreading. The plant's seed pods are also a notable feature, which, when ripe, are hairy and may appear inflated, adding a textural interest to the plant's profile. The combination of its vivid flowers, dense foliage, and distinctive seed pods makes the mountain goldenbanner a noticeable and attractive element in the landscapes where it grows naturally.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Mountain Goldenbanner, Montana Thermopsis, Golden Pea, Mountain Thermopsis, False Lupin

    • Common names

      Thermopsis rhombifolia, Thermopsis divaricarpa, Piptanthus montanus, Sophora montana, Thermopsis fabacea, Thermopsis montana var. robusta, Thermopsis robusta, Thermopsis montana var. ovata.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Mountain golden banner can be toxic to humans if ingested. It contains quinolizidine alkaloids, which can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, and in severe cases, respiratory depression and even death. Care should be taken when handling or being around the plant to ensure that no part of it is consumed.

    • To pets

      Mountain golden banner is toxic to pets if ingested. The plant contains quinolizidine alkaloids, which are harmful and can lead to symptoms including vomiting, lethargy, incoordination, and in severe cases could lead to more serious health issues such as respiratory failure or death. Pets should be prevented from eating any part of the plant.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      2 feet [0.61 meters]

    • Spread

      2 feet [0.61 meters]

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      North America


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Wildlife Habitat: Thermopsis montana provides shelter and habitat for various species of wildlife, attracting insects and serving as a food source for caterpillars of certain butterfly species.
    • Ornamental Value: The bright yellow flowers of Thermopsis montana add aesthetic value to gardens and landscapes, making it an attractive option for ornamental planting.
    • Soil Stabilization: This plant's extensive root system helps to stabilize the soil, preventing erosion in areas where it is established.
    • Drought Tolerance: Thermopsis montana has good drought tolerance, making it suitable for xeriscaping and low-water gardens, thus conserving water resources.
    • Ecosystem Support: It plays a role in native ecosystems by being part of the natural plant community, supporting overall biodiversity.
    • Pollinator Attraction: The flowers attract pollinators such as bees, which are crucial for the pollination of many plant species, including crops.
    • Nitrogen Fixation: As a member of the legume family, Thermopsis montana is capable of fixing atmospheric nitrogen, improving soil fertility without the need for chemical fertilizers.
    • Educational Interest: Due to its unique characteristics and role in the ecosystem, this plant can be used for educational purposes in teaching about plant biology and ecology.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Anti-inflammatory: Thermopsis montana has been traditionally used to reduce inflammation.
    • Analgesic: The plant may have properties that help to relieve pain.
    • Emetic: It has been used to induce vomiting in certain traditional practices.
    • Purgative: Thermopsis montana may have been used as a laxative or to purify the system by inducing bowel movement.
    • Antispasmodic: There are suggestions of its use to alleviate muscle spasms and cramps.
    • Expectorant: The plant might have been used traditionally to help expel mucus from the respiratory tract.
    However, the usage of Thermopsis montana for these purposes is not well-documented in modern medical literature, and its safety and efficacy for these uses have not been established.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Dye Production: Thermopsis montana can be used to create natural dyes for fabric and wool, with different parts of the plant producing varying shades.
    • Garden Ornamental: Due to its bright yellow flowers, the plant is used to enhance the visual appeal of gardens and landscapes.
    • Biological Pest Control: The plant may play a role in attracting beneficial insects that help control garden pests.
    • Soil Improvement: Thermopsis montana can be used as a green manure, improving soil fertility and structure when plowed back into the soil after flowering.
    • Erosion Control: The robust root system of the plant helps to stabilize soil and prevent erosion on slopes and banks.
    • Wildlife Habitat: Its dense foliage provides shelter and breeding grounds for certain species of birds and insects.
    • Educational Tool: The plant can be utilized in educational settings for studies on botany, ecology, and pollination.
    • Art and Craft: The flowers and seed pods can be used in dried floral arrangements or as inspiration for botanical illustrations.
    • Indicator Species: Because of its specific growth requirements, the presence of Thermopsis montana may indicate particular soil and environmental conditions.
    • Livestock Forage: Though not a primary forage plant, it can occasionally be consumed by livestock grazing in natural pastures.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    Mountain Goldenbanner is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    Mountain Goldenbanner is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Resilience: Thermopsis montana, commonly known as Mountain Goldenbanner, often grows in rugged mountain environments, which can symbolize the ability to thrive in challenging conditions and represent resilience.
    • Prosperity: The bright yellow blooms of the Mountain Goldenbanner may be seen as a symbol of wealth and prosperity, as yellow is often associated with gold and abundance.
    • Happiness: The cheerful appearance of its yellow flowers can symbolize joy and happiness, uplifting the spirits of those who behold it.
    • Renewal: As a perennial plant, Mountain Goldenbanner represents renewal and the cycle of life, as it returns year after year with renewed growth.

Every 1-2 weeks
10000 - 20000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring to Summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    The mountain goldenbanner requires moderate watering, ensuring the soil remains slightly moist but never soggy. Water the plant once a week with about 1 gallon of water, adjusting the frequency depending on the season and the climate. During hot, dry periods, increase watering to twice a week. In winter, reduce the amount to half a gallon every two weeks as the plant is dormant and requires less moisture. Always check the top inch of soil for dryness before watering to avoid overwatering.

  • sunLight

    The mountain goldenbanner thrives in full sunlight, so it is best to locate it in a spot where it can receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. Although it can tolerate some light shade, optimal flower production and health are achieved in brighter conditions. Avoid putting it in deep shade, as this will reduce blooming and can lead to poor plant vigor.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Mountain goldenbanner prefers temperate climates and can handle a temperature range from about 40°F to around 70°F. The plant can survive occasional dips below freezing, down to about -20°F, making it suitable for USDA hardiness zones 3 through 8. Ideal growing conditions are achieved at temperatures between 60°F and 70°F, where the mountain goldenbanner can grow healthily and bloom during its flowering season.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning the mountain goldenbanner is beneficial to maintain its shape and encourage bushier growth. Prune in early spring before new growth starts by cutting back any dead or damaged stems. Deadhead spent flowers regularly to promote continuous blooming throughout the summer. Pruning is generally done once a year, but deadheading can be performed as flowers fade during the blooming season.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Mountain goldenbanner thrives best in well-draining soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5. A mix of loam, sand, and compost is ideal to ensure proper drainage and fertility. Adding organic matter will help maintain the soil's optimal condition.

  • plantRepotting

    Mountain goldenbanner does not need frequent repotting; it can be repotted every 2 to 3 years or when it outgrows its current container. Repotting in spring is generally preferred.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Mountain goldenbanner prefers moderate humidity conditions; it does not require high humidity and adapts well to average outdoor humidity levels.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright light, well-draining soil, water when dry.

    • Outdoor

      Full sun to part shade, well-drained soil, water moderately.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-7 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Thermopsis montana, commonly known as the Mountain Goldenbanner or Montana Thermopsis, begins its life as a seed, which under favorable conditions, germinates in the soil, often in spring. The seedling emerges and develops into a young plant with a rosette of leaves close to the ground. As it matures, the plant develops a stronger stem and foliage, and eventually produces distinctive yellow pea-like flowers, which typically bloom in late spring to early summer. Following pollination, often by bees, the flowers develop into pods that contain the seeds. These seeds are then dispersed by various means – sometimes by wind or passing animals – and when they land in a suitable location, they lay dormant until the next growing season. The plant is a perennial, meaning it can live for several years, dying back to the ground each winter and re-sprouting from its rootstock the following spring.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring to Summer

    • The most popular method of propagating the mountain goldenbanner is through seed sowing. To propagate mountain goldenbanner, the seeds should be sown in the fall to allow a natural stratification period over the winter months. Alternatively, if planting in spring, the seeds need to be artificially stratified by placing them in a moist medium such as sand or a mix of sand and peat, in a plastic bag, and then refrigerating at about 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.44 degrees Celsius) for several weeks to break dormancy. After stratification, the seeds can be sown in a well-drained soil in a sunny location, planting them at a depth of about 1/8 inch (3 millimeters). Seedlings should emerge when the soil temperature is consistently warm. Once the seedlings have developed a few true leaves, they can be transplanted to their final growing location, ensuring they are spaced out to accommodate their growth.