Sundial Lupine (Perennis)

The Sundial Lupine (Perennis) is generally described as a perennial forb/herb. This is native to the U.S. (United States) .

Uses of : Landscaping, Medicinal, Culinary, etc.

Ethnobotanic: The Menomini fed this plant to horses to make them spirited and full of fire. They also rubbed the plant on their own hands or other parts of the body in order to control horses. The Cherokee made a cold infusion from the plant and used it as a wash to check hemorrhage and vomiting.

Wildlife: Sundial is the only food for the larvae of the Karner Blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis). Both fire suppression and habitat loss have contributed to the decline of the lupine and the butterfly. The Karner Blue is nearly extinct over much of its range.

General Characteristics

General: Bean Family (Fabaceae). This herbaceous perennial has erect stems that are 2-6 dm, that are thinly pubescent. The petioles are 2-6 cm. The leaves are palmately compound. The leaflets are 7-11, oblanceolate, and are from 2-6 cm. The flowers occur in terminal racemes, arising above the leaves. They are numerous, ranging from blue to pink or white. The fruits are pubescent pods that are oblong, flattened, and with 2-several seeds. They are 3-5 cm.

Required Growing Conditions

For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site. This plant is found in dry, open woods and clearings from southern Maine to Florida, west to Minnesota and Indiana. The plant grows in Pine Barrens and sandy prairies in the east.

General Upkeep and Control


Plant Basics
General Type Forb/herb
Growth Duration Perennial
Plant Nativity Native to U.S.

Source: USDA, NRCS, PLANTS Database,
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA