Lupin, or lupine, flowers are members of the genus Lupinus and are a popular garden plant. Lupin plants have been cultivated for seed since ancient Egyptian times. You can find wild blooming lupin all over the western and midwestern United States around spring and early summer.
Lupin grows native to cooler climates in North America, Europe and Asia. Some varieties are cultivated in warmer climates but most lupins do not like hot, humid conditions.
The leaves are green and contain nine to 16, one- to two-inch-long leaflets attached at a central point. The overall plant height can be from one to two feet tall.
The multiple flowers are about 1/2 inch wide and are borne on long, conical-shaped racemes. Flower color is usually blue, purple or white, but red, yellow and pink varieties have been created.
They like full sun to part shade and slightly acidic soil that gets a chance to dry out. They are not picky about soil type or fertilizer. They do best in USDA zones 4 through 6.
Studies have shown potential for lupin seeds to be harvested as an alternate crop to soybeans to be used for animal feed. Gardeners use them in perennial flower beds, borders and woodland garden settings.
lupinus, alternative crop, native wild flower
About this Author
Brian Albert has been in the publishing industry since 1999. He is an expert in horticulture, with a focus on aquatics and tropical plants like orchids. He has successfully run an aquatic plant business for the last five years. Albert's writing experience includes the Greater Portland Aquarium Society newsletter and politics coverage for a variety of online journals.