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Native Plants Series: Lupine

I get a lot of questions about lupine and whether or not it grows well here in SC PA. Sundial lupine (Lupinus perennis) is our native lupine growing in most of the eastern and southern US states. The question of whether or not it will grow well HERE is a matter of soil. This lupine likes dry, sandy soils, and despises the clay so many of us have. Due to habitat loss, it is rare but possible to find wild lupine in our area.

This guy also easily cross pollinates with other non-native lupine, creating new plants that our native insects probably don't recognize. So, try to dispose of any seeds or seedlings that pop up.

Lupine benefits hummingbirds, butterflies and other pollinators, and is deer resistant. Here in SC PA Lupines are a host plant for 26 butterfly and moth caterpillars, including the endangered Karner Blue.

If you think you have the right spot to plant sundial lupine it will reward you with pale blue flowers in late spring and early summer. You might also want to try growing it in a container!

Sources: USDA, Prairie Nursery, Blue Stem Natives

PHOTO: @ bonntany

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