Lupinus polyphyllus (large-leaved lupin)
Lupinus polyphyllus (Photo: Wikimedia Commons, licensed under CC by 3.0)
Lupinus polyphyllus Lindl.
large-leaved lupin, garden lupin (UK); bigleaf lupine, meadow lupine, blue pod (USA)
Not assessed according to IUCN Red List criteria but not considered to be threatened.
On moist, generally well-drained soils; in mesic mountain forests, meadows, sage brush and pine forests, often on riversides.
Ornamental, fodder, green manure.
Ingestion of any part of a Lupinus can cause gastrointestinal upset or more severe symptoms if large quantities are consumed.
About this species
Lupinus polyphyllus was introduced to Europe from North America by the famous explorer and plant collector David Douglas. Formerly widely grown as a striking garden plant in its own right, L. polyphyllus is one of the parents in crosses that formed the renowned Russell Hybrids, Lupinus × regalis, which became a popular garden ornamental in the UK from the late 1930s onwards.
The genus takes its name from the Latin lupus, meaning wolfish, in reference to the mistaken belief that this plant devours nutrients from the soil. A member of the pea and bean family (Leguminosae), large-leaved lupin can actually enhance soil fertility with the help of nitrogen-fixing bacteria within special root nodules.