Lupinus Species, Wild Lupine, Sundial Lupine

Lupinus perennis

Family: Fabaceae (fab-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lupinus (loo-PIE-nus) (Info)
Species: perennis (per-EN-is) (Info)
Synonym:Lupinus nuttallii



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade




Foliage Color:



12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Dark Blue


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

Direct sow as soon as the ground can be worked

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Richmond, California

Walnut, California

Palm Harbor, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

Augusta, Georgia

Gainesville, Georgia

Cherry Valley, Illinois

Machesney Park, Illinois

Pacific Junction, Iowa

Belchertown, Massachusetts

Halifax, Massachusetts

Northampton, Massachusetts

Topsfield, Massachusetts

Erie, Michigan

Kingsley, Michigan

Minneapolis, Minnesota(2 reports)

Hudson, New Hampshire

Lincoln, New Hampshire

Dansville, New York

Patchogue, New York

Tully, New York

Bucyrus, Ohio

Austin, Texas

Hot Springs, Virginia

Leesburg, Virginia

Roseland, Virginia

Camano Island, Washington

Cle Elum, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Hancock, Wisconsin

Racine, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 27, 2017, IndianaOhio from Bath, IN wrote:

The seeds need just 10 days of cold stratification. A plant researcher got a >90% germination rate from 30 minutes of sulfuric acid scarification. The correct legume inoculant may also improve growth and vigor. I believe it is Type H for this plant.

If you live within the range of the endangered Karner Blue butterfly you should not plant hybrid lupines or non-native lupines of any kind.

Stick with the true lupinus perennis for your area and watch out for hybrids that call themselves that (it's hard to find the true lupinus perennis that's not a hybrid because people decided to mix them together to "improve" the plant a long time back).

If you're going to grow lupines in the Karner Blue's range then make them favorable for this little butterfly.... read more


On Jun 6, 2010, palmclueless from Walnut, CA wrote:

We have them all over our yard here in Walnut, CA (Los Angeles). They are native wild flowers here and are blooming vigourously now in June. They seem to multiply and shoot up over night. They are a very beautiful blue flower. They certainly brighten up our yard very nicely, along with the golden yellow California Poppy, which also grows as a wild flower in our yards.


On Jun 21, 2009, Marlina from Blaine, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

My Lupine's were gorgeous this year about 4 feet high the other not near as high maybe 2 feet will try to down load a picture of the American finches playing on one. Have been trying to get these to grow for a few years finally paid off...


On May 16, 2009, anelson77 from Seattle, WA wrote:

Planted in a wildflower seed packet and it keeps coming back. Now has reseeded all over. It looks lush and beautiful until late summer, then I cut it to the ground and get some fresh growth. Grows in sun, part shade, dry, and watered parts of garden. I like it better than the Russell lupines--has a more airy, wildflower look about it.


On Feb 9, 2009, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

Not cool summer nights - more like sandy soil but also need thin veg cover to reseed itself


On May 12, 2006, Meredith79 from Southeastern, NH (Zone 5b) wrote:

I purchased 2 plants from The plants arrived about 3 days after I placed my order and were very healthy. They were reasonably priced and larger than I'd expected for the price. I orderd gallon pots. They should work well in my yard that used to be a pine barren, since that is where they would naturally occur. They are the host plant for the endangered Karner Blue Butterfly caterpillar.


On Mar 11, 2006, branches from Seaford, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:

I was able to start indoors in Feb. (in 4 in pots) and plant outside after last frost. A few will flower in the first year, but most take 2-3 years to flower.


On Jan 26, 2005, kayaker from Milton, VT (Zone 4a) wrote:

The seed of many lupin species contain bitter-tasting toxic alkaloids, though there are often sweet varieties within that species that are completely wholesome. Taste is a very clear indicator. These toxic alkaloids can be leeched out of the seed by soaking it overnight and discarding the soak water. It may also be necessary to change the water once during cooking. Fungal toxins also readily invade the crushed seed and can cause chronic illness.


On Oct 11, 2004, tcfromky from Mercer, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is a very showy and beautiful plant. It however has some very restrictive habitat requirements. It requires dry sites, usually sandy soil and cool summer nights. If you do not have these conditions where you are planting it, don't waste your time, effort or money.