This species of a North American genus is among
the most important of perennials.
The foliage comprises five to fifteen long, narrow
leaflets, four to six inches long, radiating from
a short stem at the base of the plant and sometimes
from the flower-stems.
The flowers, borne in long spikes, three to four
feet, comprise a lower portion pouch-shaped, known
as the keel, and an upper petal that is recurved
in the older types, but flat in the more modern
strains, particularly the Russell strain.
In the varieties of garden origin the shades vary
from white to yellow, orange, flame, red, bronze,
pink and intermediate shades as well as lavender-blue
Lupinus arboreus, the Tree Lupin, is shrubby with
shorter spikes of yellow, white or mauve. There
are a number of alpine and annual species.
Requires a well-drained rich soil and a position
in partial shade or full sun.
Propagate by means of cuttings or from seed.
The flowering season is in June.
Lupin – Perennial
Three to six feet.
Flowers blue, white or yellow, May to June.
A most satisfactory race of large border plants,
easy to raise and grow, healthy, fine in habit
and colour, sweet-scented, and long-lived.
are greedy feeders, with large, fleshy roots,
and need a good deep soil; but any tolerable garden
staple will grow them, so long as it is not dry.
The two genera are Lupinus polyphyllus, and Lupinus arboreus.
Polyphyllus dies back every winter to a mass of
woody root-stocks partly hidden by the litter
of the decayed stalks; early in the year a crowd
of green shoots pushes up, and in May advances
spikes of pea-shaped flowers, in a good specimen
as much as two feet in length.
These have a quite
personal and peculiar scent, rich yet delicate,
which mingles admirably with those of the irises
and the common pink.
has flowers of a soft purple blue; in Polyphyllus
elegans the blue is striped or quartered with
white; p. albus is altogether white.
new variety must be mentioned here, named “Somerset”;
it has the growth and habit of the polyphyllus
family, but the colour is a fine yellow, such
as is found in the next section.
The Arboreus tribe of Lupins forms a woody bush,
with stout stems, barky for some distance from
A fine specimen may be five or six
feet high, and almost as much through. In June
it covers itself with a multitude of upright spikes
about a foot in length, of a clear, bright yellow.
There is now a sport from this older sort, called
“Snow Queen”, differing only in that
its flowers are pure white.
Like the polyphyllus,
Lupinus arboreus requires a good depth of sound soil
to root in.
Both the divisions may be raised from
seed with great ease.
Sow any time between May
and September, putting in the seeds about half
an inch deep in the open ground.
seedlings when large enough, and put out in their
final positions before growth begins in spring.
Plants of Polyphyllus from a sowing in May ought
to show flower the following season; arboreous
may require a second year before it blooms. Polyphyllus
must be securely staked and tied as the growth
advances; two stout sticks, four or five feet
out of the ground, may be so placed beside each
clump that they hardly show.
Girths of stout tar-string
must encircle the sheaf of flowers, and be raised
as the stems rise; with every care it sometimes
happens that squally rain from the south-west
will snap every flower spike across the supporting
The stiff-growing arboreus ought to support
itself, but in windy situations or where a large
established specimen has to be moved, a stout
stake may be needful as anchorage for the main
About September the dead leaves and litter
of Polyphyllus clumps may be cleared away, the
ground lightly pricked over, and a good top-dressing
spread about the crowns.
Arboreus is not to be
cut down; but it may be judiciously trimmed and
the more straggling of the outer shoots removed.
It will generally give a few flowers at a second
blooming in the autumn, but this should not be
Very few plants are the better for
working double tides during the garden year.
After five or six years, perennial Lupins deteriorate.
As it is so easy to raise a stock from seed (in
good quarters the polyphyllus sows itself freely)
it is not worth while trying to divide the roots.
Care should be taken that there is always a sufficiency
of healthy two-year-olds coming on to take the
place of the aged plants.
Lupin – Annual
One to three feet.
Flowers of several colours, July to September.
The annual Lupins have smaller flower-spikes
than the perennials; but their range of colouring
They are all extremely easy to grow.
The seed should be pressed about three quarters
of an inch deep into nicely-broken soil in the
end of March, each seed three inches from its
When the plants are up, they should
be thinned to a foot asunder at least.
position for them is in large clumps in the mixed
border: any tolerable garden soil will suit them.
They should have an open position, as, if they
are over shaded or crowded, they will become straggling,
and fall about instead of holding themselves up.
The following are the best kinds:
Lupinus Hartwegii, blue and white.
Lupinus Hartwegii albus, white.
Lupinus hybridus atrococcineus, reddish pink and white.
Lupinus mutabilis, creamy pink.
Lupinus subcarnosus, deep blue.
There are also the unnamed “common”
kinds, white, yellow and blue, all very handsome
for mixed borders.