Large-Leaved Lupine is the queen of her clan with iconic purplish blue flower spires (aka racemes) that can be over one foot long and are adored by bumblebees! Her distinct leaves form a palmately compound circle that add interest and texture to the garden, while gorgeously collecting droplets of dew on summer mornings; little cups of fresh drinking water for garden insects.
- Plant type/canopy layer: deciduous perennial herbaceous plant
- Size at maturity: 4' tall, 2-3' wide
- Light requirements: full sun, part sun / part shade
- Moisture requirements: moist to wet soil
- Bloom time: April - June
- Growth rate/ease: moderate growth rate, easy to grow
- Wildlife support: attracts and provides nectar to hummingbirds, adult butterflies, bees and other insect pollinators, attracts and supports beneficial and pest eating insects, caterpillar host plant and larval food source
- Native habitat/range: Common in meadows, forests openings and coastal areas from British Columbia to California. Portland Plant List - yes.
- Special features & uses: erosion control and soil stabilization, drought tolerant, hummingbird and pollinator favorite
Gardening with Large-leaved Lupine: Large-Leaved Lupine is an absolute must for moist meadowscapes, pollinator gardens, rock gardens and raingardens - with striking purple flowers that can be wonderful native alternatives to snapdragons or ornamental phlox. Like it’s other lupine cousins, it is generally found in moist to seasonally wet soils, but can withstand short periods of drought. If you choose to, adding supplemental summer water will prolong its bloom and attractive vegetation. Or, save the water and the plant will die-back for the season by mid-summer and return to impress again next year. 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.
Photo Credit 1: "Lupinus polyphyllus._5951" by Flominator is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Photo Credit 2: "File:Lupinus polyphyllus-Goering.jpg" by Überraschungsbilder is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
Photo Credits 2 & 3: Tara Lemezis, Tiny Seed Photography
Photo Credit 4: "Lupinus polyphyllus._5971" by Flominator is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
Photo Credit 5: Nikkie West, Sparrowhawk Native Plants