Lupine Seedlings

Our house is situated on a gravel esker and the soil on the top and slope is very sandy and well drained. We therefore look for native plants that grow in similar conditions in the wild to add to our landscape.

Wild Lupine (Lupinus perennis) was added last year and this spring we had a very nice display of flowers. The Wild Lupine is the host plant for the endangered Karner Blue Butterfly (Lycaedes melissa samuelis).

We ordered some Wild Lupine seed from Prairie Moon Nursery this spring to add to the southwest slope of prairie species area in our yard.

Prairie Moon provided an inoculant with the Wild Lupine seed to "aid in the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen and improve the long-term health of native plant communities" (Prairie Moon 2010 Catalog & Cultural Guide). The Wild Lupine is one of many native legumes that fix atmospheric nitrogen and help provide this nutrient to surrounding plants.

The great thing about growing Wild Lupine is that their seeds are quite large for handling and the seedlings are robust for transplanting. It is an excellent plant to grow with children.

We cold stratified the seed for 3 days in damp sand in our fridge then sowed them in potting soil in 4" pots in early May. They germinated in 7-10 days.