Broadleaf Lupine is a large, densely-branching perennial that flaunts plentiful purple cone-shaped flower spires that are frequently visited by pollinators. Standing up to 4’ tall in wet sunny locations, its strong branches keep it tidy, while its deep roots stabilize soil and fix nitrogen.
- Plant type/canopy layer: deciduous, perennial, herbaceous plant
- Size at maturity: 1’-4’ tall, equally wide
- Light requirements: full sun to part-sun/part-shade
- Moisture requirements: moist to wet soil
- Bloom time: April - May
- Growth rate/ease: medium growth rate, easy to grow
- Wildlife support: attracts and supports bees, butterflies and other insect pollinators, caterpillar host plant and larval food source for countless insects, including dozens of species of butterflies.
- Native habitat/range: Locally common on streambanks and slopes in coastal scrub, Douglas-Fir forests, subalpine forests, mixed evergreen forest, and wetland-riparian habitats from British Columbia to Baja, sea level to 2750m. Portland Plant List - yes
- Special features & uses: erosion control and soil stabilization, drought tolerant, hummingbird and pollinator favorite, tea can be made from the seeds to aid urination
Gardening with Broadleaf Lupine: Broadleaf lupine is an excellent choice for most-to-full sun locations. Though it is generally found in moist to wet soils, it is remarkably drought tolerant. It also performs beautifully in soils that are loose, rocky, shallow and/or low-fertility because its deep roots fix nitrogen, increase soil fertility, and control erosion. On research sites in the Olympic Mountains, the Forest Service found that soils directly surrounding the nitrogen-fixing broadleaf lupine plants had twice the nitrogen, more organic matter, and more phosphorus than adjacent soils, making it a valuable tool for rehabilitation of disturbed sites.
Seed Packets Contain: approx 30 seeds
Seed Sowing instructions: While the seed is not dormant, it has a hard seedcoat. Can be spring sown with scarification (boil water, pour hot – not boiling – water over seed to cover, soak for 10-12 hours, then plant). Otherwise fall sowing is best to help breach seedcoat.
Stratification: little to none; but best planted in the fall if not scarifying.
Planting depth: 1/8” – 1/4”
- Broadcasting: approx 10 seeds/sq ft
- Small pots: 3-5 per pot
- Spots in situ: 3-5 per spot
Photo Credit 1: "Broad-leaf lupine (Lupinus latifolius), purple" by F 5.6 is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0
Photo Credit 2: "Lupinus latifolius" by gertjanvannoord is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0
Photo Credit 3: "Lupinus latifolius" by Willamette Biology is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0