Alphabetical Plant Listing

Lupinus bicolor (Miniature Lupine)

Miniature Lupine, Miniature Annual Lupine, Pygmy-Leaved Lupine


Lupinus bicolor (Miniature Lupine) is a small annual wildflower boasting elongated spikes of blue-violet and white pea-shaped flowers in early spring to early summer. The blossoms are borne on short, hairy stems above the foliage of small, palmately compound leaves. Attractive to bumblebees, native bees, hummingbirds and butterflies, the flowers are followed by small hairy pods which contain tiny brown seeds. When the pod has dried out and it is ready, the seeds are released by the pod erupting and expelling the seeds up to 20 feet (6 m). This reproductive cycle leads to the rise of large colonies. Miniature Lupine is nitrogen-fixing and valuable for rehabilitation of disturbed sites because it grows well on droughty and low-fertility sites, colonizes disturbed areas, and forms associations with nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Miniature Lupine is frequently found with the California Poppy (Eschsholzia californica), creating striking combinations in the landscape. Both of the plants have similar growing methods and live simultaneously without any problems.

  • Grows up to 4-16 in. tall (10-40 cm) and 12 in. wide (30 cm).
  • Thrives in full sun in dry, sandy, well-drained soils. Tolerates a variety of soils. Miniature Lupine can persist in low-fertility soils because of its ability to fix nitrogen. Relatively high tolerance to heat and drought.
  • An excellent choice for informal gardens, prairies and meadows or wildlife gardens.
  • No serious pest or disease issues.
  • Propagate by seed. Fresh seeds do not require pretreatment. Stored seeds may benefit from scarification or hot water.
  • Native to western North America from California to British Columbia.

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Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 9
Climate Zones 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Annuals
Plant Family Lupinus - Lupines
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 4" – 2' (10cm – 60cm)
Spread 10" – 1' (25cm – 30cm)
Spacing 12" (30cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, California, Pacific Northwest, Oregon, Washington, Southwest, Arizona
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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USFWS Pacific Southwest Region, Joe Decruyenaere, Flickr, Passenger Window, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 9
Climate Zones 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Annuals
Plant Family Lupinus - Lupines
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 4" – 2' (10cm – 60cm)
Spread 10" – 1' (25cm – 30cm)
Spacing 12" (30cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, California, Pacific Northwest, Oregon, Washington, Southwest, Arizona
Tolerance Drought
Attracts Birds, Butterflies, Hummingbirds
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Lupinus - Lupines

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