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Lupinus

Lupines

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderFabalesLegumes (pea and bean families)
FamilyFabaceaeLegume family (peas and beans)
GenusLupinus“Wolf,” because of the mistaken belief that lupines ravage land they grow on; in fact, they contribute nutrients

About plant names...

There are about 280 species of lupines worldwide. The genus, Lupinus (from Lupus, “wolf”), reflects an old belief that lupines consume nutrients voraciously from the soil. Ironically, the opposite is true. Lupines trap or “fix” nitrogen directly from the atmosphere, creating their own fertilizer. Sometimes they are even planted among other crops because they produce enough nitrogen to improve their growth as well. Lupines are early colonizers of disturbed areas. They are prized by gardeners for their attractive spikes of flowers.

Identification: Lupines’ tall, attractive flower spikes are a their most noticeable feature from a distance. Up close, lupines have palmlike leaves—rosettes of several narrow leaflets, like spokes on a wheel. Yellow bush lupine (Thermopsis villosa) has similar flowerheads, but different leaves. They have pealike pods, but don’t eat them, as they have several poisons.

Online References:

Lupinus on the USDA Plants Database

Lupinus on Wikipedia

Lupinus at the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council’s Plant of the Month site

 

Lupinus (lupines)

(Lupinus) · 6/15/2013 · Sonny and Donna’s, Tenant’s Harbor, Maine
≈ 12 × 19" (31 × 47 cm) Species not yet identified

Lupinus (lupines)

(Lupinus) · 6/15/2013 · Sonny and Donna’s, Tenant’s Harbor, Maine
≈ 11 × 16" (27 × 41 cm) Species not yet identified

Some lupines:

 
Lupinus arboreus

Lupinus arcticus

Lupinus succulentus
Common Name

yellow bush lupine

Arctic lupine

arroyo lupine
Plant 5-6½' (1.5-2 m) in height, and about 4' (1.2 m) around, significantly larger than other lupine species. 8-24" (20-60 cm) tall. 8-39" (20-100 cm) high.
Flowers In sweet-scented spikes 6" (15 cm) long. Usually yellow, they may be lilac or blue instead. Spikes are 6-12" (15-30 cm) long and 1-2" (2.5-5 cm) around. They are a rich dark blue or violet, or, sometimes, white. Spikes 3½-6" (9-15 cm) high.
Leaves Silky, dark green or gray-green, palm-like in appearence, with 5-12 leaflets on each leaf. Each leaflet is ¾-2" (2-6 cm) long. Palmlike, bright green and smooth on top, and hairy below. 5-9 leaflets per leaf, each 1-3" (2.5-7.6 cm) long, and up to ¼" (6.3 mm) wide, usually with rounded tips. Palmlike, in rosettes of 7-9 leaflets. Each leaflet is ¾-2" (2-6 cm) × ¼-¾" (7-20 mm).
Fruit   Like pea pods, right down to the “peas” inside. (But don’t eat them!) Similar to pea pods, 1¼-1¾" (3.5-5 cm) long × ¼-⅜" (8-10 mm), with 6-9 seeds per pod.
Range/ Zones

Type Wild Wild Wild

 

Lupinus (lupines)

(Lupinus) · 6/16/2013 · Sonny and Donna’s, Tenant’s Harbor, Maine
≈ 3 × 2½' (95 × 79 cm) Species not yet identified

Lupinus (lupines)

(Lupinus) · 6/16/2013 · Sonny and Donna’s, Tenant’s Harbor, Maine Species not yet identified

Lupinus (lupines)

(Lupinus) · 6/15/2013 · Sonny and Donna’s, Tenant’s Harbor, Maine
≈ 11 × 15" (28 × 37 cm) Species not yet identified

Lupinus (lupines)

(Lupinus) · 6/15/2013 · Sonny and Donna’s, Tenant’s Harbor, Maine
≈ 7 × 11" (18 × 28 cm) Species not yet identified

 

Lupinus description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Sep 2020.

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Lupinus (lupines)

(Lupinus) · Much more lush than when seen in the desert ... tall and full and blue. By Karol M from Arizona, USA. · 3/8/2005 · Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, Ari­zona

Lupinus (lupines)

(Lupinus) · 6/16/2013 · Sonny and Donna’s, Tenant’s Harbor, Maine
≈ 16 × 24" (39 × 59 cm) Species not yet identified

Lupinus (lupines)

(Lupinus) · 6/15/2013 · Sonny and Donna’s, Tenant’s Harbor, Maine
≈ 18 × 26" (44 × 66 cm) Species not yet identified