Bigleaf lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus)

Bigleaf lupine Common Names: Giant lupine, Russel lupine, garden lupine

Description: Lupines fix nitrogen, fertilizing poor soils.

Habit: Erect and spreading hairy herbaceous perennial; generally more than 30cm tall.

Leaves: Palmately compound leaf with 9-14 narrow, pointed, leaflets; 2-7 cm long, 5-14 cm wide; alternate, margin entire, leaflets hairy on both sides.

Stems: Erect or ascending; glabrous or hairy and usually unbranched.

Flowers: Blue to violet in color, pea-like, to 1.5 cm long, dense clusters to 40 cm long.

Fruit and seeds: Seed pod, 2.5-4 cm long, 4-12 mm wide, hairy, green to dark purplish-mottled when mature, 1 locular, straight, contains 3-10 seeds.

Habitat: Native to North America. Grows well in moist to wet soils. Found in open habitats (streamside, wet meadows) and disturbed sites, at low to middle elevations.

Reproduction: By seed.

Similar species: Sundial lupine or Wild lupine (Lupinus perennis).

Monitoring and rapid response: Cutting, mowing or digging for small infestations; effectively controlled by any of the several readily available general use herbicides such as clopyralid or glyphosate.

Credits: The information provided in this factsheet was gathered from the Audubon Society, the USDA PLANTS Database and the University of Alaska - Anchorage.

Individual species images that appear with a number in a black box are courtesy of the network ( photo author credits may not be included due to the small display size of the images and subsequent difficulty of reading the provided text. All other images appear courtesy of Google (

Common Name:

Bigleaf lupine

Scientific Name:

Lupinus polyphyllus







USDA Symbol: