Species (common name, Latin name):

            Bigleaf Lupine, Lupinus polyphyllus






North from California to British Columbia



Climate, elevation

Low to fairly high elevations. (0 to 9800 feet)



Local occurrence (where, how common)




Habitat preferences

Prefers part shady, moderately dry, well-drained, sandy-loam soil to moist areas and stream banks. Can tolerate drought and wind, but not maritime exposure.



Plant strategy type/successional stage (stress-tolerator, competitor, weedy/colonizer, seral, late successional)




Associated species




May be collected as: (seed, layered, divisions, etc.)

Seed or division, though divisions are difficult.



Collection restrictions or guidelines

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds. Allow seed heads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds



Seed germination (needs dormancy breaking?)

Scarify seed before sowing



Propagation recommendations (plant seeds, vegetative parts, cuttings, etc.)

From seed there are several options: Direct sow outdoors in fall; winter sow in vented containers, cold-frame or unheated greenhouse; stratify if sowing indoors and sow before last frost.



Soil or medium requirements (inoculum necessary?)

Prefers an acid to neutral soil, though can succeed in poor soils. Dislikes root disturbance.

This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria. These bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, requires well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil.



Installation form (form, potential for successful outcomes, cost)




Recommended planting density




Care requirements after installed (water weekly, water once etc.)




Normal rate of growth or spread; lifespan




Sources cited







Compiled by Jack Hebert 5-21-06