Lupinus polyphyllus | Russell Lupine ‘Russell hybrid mix’
Russell Lupine hybrids are perhaps the most popular named hybrid flower group in commerce today. They were developed in England over 30 years time by Yorkshire gardener George Russell in the early 1900’s, and are still today one of the worlds favorite wildflowers. Sturdy and majestic, Lupines are not only noted for their beauty, but for their ability to thrive in challenging environments. The most commonly known and widely cultivated Lupine species, known for growing tall, lush, spikes densely packed vividly colored, pea-shaped flowers are known as Russell Lupine, or Garden Lupine. Its nectar & pollen rich blossoms attract bees by the bunches. Bumblebees are especially fond of Lupine.
Lupinus polyphyllus is an early season perennial that may take a year after planting to offer it’s stunning blooms, but will reward a gardener’s patience with abundant, colorful blooms the following year.
We collected seeds from a group of mixed Russell Lupine plants, which can be seen in the photos. One can expect colors that are like those of the parent plants, plus whatever hybrid crosses show up that the bumble bees created! Pink, orange, yellow, blue, red, purple, white, etc.
Lupine seeds can be planted in just about any region and any climate. For best results, grow in full sun in moist, but well-drained soil, and protect young plants from slugs and snails. Deadhead spent flowers to encourage repeat-blooms. Will self-sow. Excellent for naturalizing. Not bothered by deer or rabbits.
Sun exposure: Full sun
Mature height: 2.5-3.5 ft
Mature width: 2-3 ft
Hardiness zones: 3-10