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Plants Online - Lupin

Plants for sale - Lupin

42

LUPIN

Family LEGUMINOSAE
Lupinus polyphyllus
Perennial/Annual

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 and purple.

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
Hardy 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.
They 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.
Polyphyllus cœrulus has flowers of a soft purple blue; in Polyphyllus elegans the blue is striped or quartered with white; p. albus is altogether white.
A comparatively 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.

Tree Lupins
The Arboreus tribe of Lupins forms a woody bush, with stout stems, barky for some distance from the ground.
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.
Transplant the 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 string.
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 stem.
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 encouraged.
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
Hardy 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 is larger.
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 neighbour.
When the plants are up, they should be thinned to a foot asunder at least.
The best 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.

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