Whitewhorl Lupine (Aureus)

The Whitewhorl Lupine (Aureus) is generally described as an annual forb/herb. This is native to the U.S. (United States) .

Uses of : Landscaping, Medicinal, Culinary, etc.

Erosion control: Whitewhorl lupine is useful for soil renovation and stabilization.

Beautification: This plant is an excellent ornamental for parks and homes.

General Characteristics

Lupinus densiflorus Benth. var. aureus (Kellogg) Munz, whitewhorl lupine, is an annual herb growing from 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 feet tall, with brilliant white to yellow flowers.

Required Growing Conditions

Like other lupines, whitewhorl lupines are well-adapted to open, sunny locations, and will tolerate moderate amounts of water. Their symbiotic relationship with rhizobium, a root bacterium, enables them to fix nitrogen in the soil, enabling the plants to survive in nutrient-depleted or infertile soils, including alkaline clays and rocky outcrops.

Whitewhorl lupine is distributed throughout California.

Cultivation and Care

The herb provides abundant quantities of seed in conspicuous pods; these may be gathered when ripe, then shelled, dried, and stored until planting time. Most seeds will germinate without pretreatment, although germination will be enhanced by soaking the seeds in boiling hot water just before planting. Treat seeds prior to planting with the proper legume inoculant. Sow seed by broadcasting in winter or early spring. Whitewhorl lupine is subject to mildew and root rot and requires good drainage, otherwise it is not particular about the soil. It grows best in cool locations and accepts moderate amounts of water during early growth, but not direct overhead sprinkling (semi-dry conditions are best). The plant can also be grown from basal cuttings which are taken and planted out in the spring.

General Upkeep and Control

Remove faded flowers unless self-sown seedlings are desired; otherwise, little or no subsequent care should be required.

Pests and Potential Problems There are no serious insect pests at the present time; however, the plant is subject to mildew and root rot.

Cultivars, Improved, and Selected Materials (and area of origin) ‘Gedling’ golden lupine is a cultivar with brilliant golden-yellow flowers. It was developed from a widespread California native spring wildflower, whose pale yellow flowers are not as showy as those of the ‘Gedling’ cultivar. Seeds are available at most commercial sources.

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

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