Wild Lupine, or Sundial Lupine is our native lupine. Unfortunately Lupine easily hybridizes with non-native Lupine creating new plants that are unrecognizable to the insects that depend on it to survive. We've got the right one for sale!
The endangered Karner Blue butterflies are one species dependent on Lupinus perennis. You can read more about their plight here.
When driving trhough Maine you will see what looks like beautiful fields of naturally growing Lupine. In actuality these are non-native plants (Lupinus polyphyllus) and their hybrids which have taken over the turf of our Lupinus perennis. Which is now sadly extinct in Maine. This is turn has nearly exterminated the Karner Blue Butterfly whose caterpillars can only feed on this one species. Its numbers have fallen by 99 percent, with most of the losses occurring in the past 15 years.
Thankfully, our native Lupine has beautiful blue flowers with interesting leaves, which splay in a sundial fashion (see? Common names are so basic).
The lupine is in the Pea family, which is well known for its nitrogen fixation capabilities. Fun fact, it was once widely thought that lupine depleted soils of nutrients, when in fact they improve soils by taking the nitrogen from the air and processing it into a bio-available form.
Excellent in areas of dry, sandy soils, these plants are well suited for a naturalized area or as part of a restoration project, perhaps with other plants in a hell-strip area.
Source: grown from seed originally from Helia Native Nursery, western MA. Original provenance unknown.
Lupinus perennis (Sundial lupine)
SIZE AND POT INFORMATION: More details coming in May type: herbaceous perennial sun needs: full sun, part sun/part shade water needs: dry, average height: 2' plant spacing: 1 plant per square foot bloom time: May, June, July bloom color: purple, blue
deer resistant (please note that does not mean deer proof)