Lupinus plant and Lupines are also known as Blue Bonnet flower.
Blue Bonnet wildflowers are the Texas state flower (Lupinus texensis).
Lupines are from the Fabaceae family, or Pea Family. It is a genus of about 200 fragrant, spice scented species of annuals, perennials and semi-evergreens and evergreen shrubs around the world. In North America there are approximately 70 species of herbaceous perennials that are native throughout the country. Annuals are found more in the Mediterranean and North, Central & South America.
Not only are these great flowers to attract butterflies but Lupines are butterfly host plants to many butterfly species. Most noted, host plants of the Blues in the Lycaenidae family, or Gossamer-winged butterflies. Lupines also are flowers for hummingbirds and offer deer resistant plants.
There are the wildflowers and then there are the lupine cultivars. The native wildflowers are hard to propagate and don't transplant well. It was when Lupine flowers were hybridized commercially for garden lupine (Lupine polyphyllus) when they gained popularity.
Collectively Lupines prefer acidic soil that is rich, moist and well drained. They bloom in June in most areas of the country, otherwise spring through summer in temperate climates. They grow well with full sun but require shade in areas where summers are extremely long and hot.
Preferred cultivars include Popsicle hybrids, which grow about 18-24 inches (46-61 cm) but most popular are the George Russell hybrids which average 30 inches (76 cm). Cultivars have green lanced shaped leaves that form a circle of 'wheel spokes' off of their stem. Colors that are available include blue, pink, red, yellow, purple, cream, lavender, maroon, salmon and many bi-colors.
By far the most popular are purple lupine, blue lupine and yellow lupine.
The Lupinus plant is great for natural gardening and cottage gardens. They are great border plants for many garden layouts because they grow so tall. Because of their height, it's best to grow Lupines in clusters and if placing in a windy areas it's likely you'll need to stake them.
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