kind of plant is the lupine?
Lupines are a member of the
Leguminosae family. This plant family includes beans, peas and
clovers. This is significant because this family of plants
actually adds to the fertility of the soil. They do this
through nodules on their roots. These nodules or bumps/lumps
on the roots contain bacteria that convert nitrogen in the soil to a
form that the plants can use to grow.
So in fact lupines are
feeders of the soils not looters.
But all is not rosy with
lupines. They are poisonous. They contain
Lupinine. Eating large numbers of seeds is the usual means of
ingesting the poison. Interestingly, livestock seem to be
unaffected by eating the plant, but their milk can become poisonous
and, in turn, if ingested can cause birth defects.
love well drained, slightly acid to neutral soil. They also
thrive in poor soil. Lupines produce more blooms if grown in
the sun. However, to add color to the shade garden we
experimented with planting some in the shade and although they
bloomed later in the season and had fewer blooms, they added color
to our shade gardens. And by the way, lupines do not like hot
a shorter variety of lupines to avoid wind damage. Lupines
come in a wide variety of colors and shades. They are
considered to be a short lived perennial [3 to 4 years]. However
many plants will self-seed, although the seedlings are not
necessarily the same color as the mother plant.
To encourage a
second flowering period cut off the stocks of fading blooms.
lupine flowers in late June for about 2 to 3 weeks.
have few problems. Aphids can be a problem and they can be
controlled with the use of insecticidal soap. We have never
had any disease or pest problems with our lupines