Lupinus – Lupine, Perennials Guide to Planting Flowers

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Lupinus – Lupine

If one is looking for a plant
a little out of the ordinary, surely the stately Lupines
will fill this need, for they are among the most beautiful
perennials grown. Lupinus polyphyllus is the
most popular species. It grows from ~ feet to 5 feet
in height and has beautiful, long spikes of pea-shaped
or butterfly-like flowers covering at least 12 inches
on stems 3 feet or more high. The flowers are a clear,
azure-blue, white or pink, with soft green leaves divided
into small, finger-like leaflets, eight to sixteen in
number. L. p. Moerheimii is perhaps the handsomest
variety with its bright pink, rose and white flowers.
The flowering spikes are produced very freely, and a
border or mass of these plants when once seen in bloom,
present such a showy yet beautiful picture that it is
not easily forgotten. The plants tend to spread out
while growing. Healthy plants are fairly covered with
the spikes which bloom throughout May and June.

UTILIZE. The best effect
is gained by planting Lupines in masses in the border
or on the banks of ponds or streams where the tall growing
spikes cast a stately reflection in the water. Lupines
naturalize well in woodlands and partially shaded corners.
The tall spikes are handsome for cutting.

GENERAL. Lupines, when once
established, are very easy of culture, and are seldom
attacked by insects. They grow in any soil which does
not contain lime. The roots are large and long and readily
exhaust the soil of its food materials, so each year
the ground should be enriched with plenty of stable
manure. It is best to grow them in moist situations,
but if this is not possible they should be watered well
during dry weather. Lupines dislike to be moved so they
should be planted and left alone. If the flowering stalks
are cut down, the plants may bloom the second time in
September.

PROPAGATION. Lupines are
easily raised from seed and the plants self-sow if the
soil is not too dry. The seeds should not be covered
deeply when planted and can be sown at any time. The
plants can be divided or cuttings can be made by using
the rather hardened wood, or side shoots. . This should
be done in the Spring.

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