Lupinus benthamii | Spider Lupine
Spider Lupine is a species of annual lupine endemic to central California where it covers hillsides with its blue blooms every spring. Its range is from the Central Coast Ranges across the Central Valley into the Sierra Nevada foothills. Being a foothills plant, it doesn’t grow much above 2,000 feet elevation, and at up to three feet tall, it towers over most other lupines in its native range,
The flower cluster is a 6 inch tall upright raceme of pea-shaped flowers that are deep blue in color with a white or pink spot on the banner or upper petal, with the flowers sometimes arranged in whorls. Pollinated flowers turn into hairy legume pods about an inch long. It’s nectar and pollen rich blossoms attract bees by the bunches. Bumblebees are especially fond of Lupine.
For best growth, grow in full sun to part shade in moist, but well-drained soil. Grows well in gravelly soil. Protect young plants from slugs and snails. Not bothered by deer or rabbits.
Sun exposure: Full sun to part shade
Mature height: 1-2 ft
Mature width: 12-18 inches
Hardiness zones: 7-10