Golden Pea

Theremopsis montana

A Showy Yellow Pea

This showy, yellow-flowered plant is most often found in damp or wet soils in hills and mountains. It can withstand drought and trampling. It is not a very palatable food for livestock or other animals.


This plant attains a height of one to four feet, terminating in a long raceme of golden-yellow flowers, each flower being 1/2 to 3/4 inch long. These plants usually occur in patches, since they spread via undergound stems. The leaves are compound and trifoliate with leaflets mainly oval and one to three inches long. At the base of each leaf are found two large leaflike stipules.

People often confuse this Golden Pea or False Lupine with true lupines in the genus Lupinus. However, it can easily be distinguished since there are three leaflets instead of five or more. False Lupine also has all stamens distinct, instead of united together as in true lupines.

Related Topics

Written by Rob Nelson

Rob is an ecologist from the University of Hawaii. He is the co-creator and director of Untamed Science. His goal is to create videos and content that are entertaining, accurate, and educational. When he's not making science content, he races whitewater kayaks and works on Stone Age Man.

You can follow Rob Nelson