Lupinus (Lupin) Popular Shrubs for the Garden
The lupins that are most well known are the hardy herbaceous perennials, especially the Russell lupins in a wide colour range.
But there is a fine shrub, popularly known as the Tree Lupin, which has very similar, although the spikes are shorter at about 9 inches long. This is Lupinus arboreus, an excellent shrub for dry soils, for hot sunny banks and for poor, stony soils that sometimes present problems. In fact it does better on these soils than on richer, moisture-retaining kinds, which is understandable, as it originated in California.
Its maximum height is about 6 feet, but in most places it rarely seems to exceed 4-5 feet. So rapidly does it grow, however, that it can attain its eventual height in no more than two or three years. its sweetly fragrant flowers are produced throughout most of June and July. Normally they are a fairly bright yellow, but there are various named colour forms available including the deep yellow Lupinus ‘Gallery Red’, Lupinus ‘Golden Spire’ and Lupinus , Lupinus ‘Mauve Queen’, rosy-mauve, and the pure white ‘Snow Queen’. Plants are easily raised from seed and other colour forms may appear among the seedlings.
There is no need to prune this shrub, though it is worth dead-heading it to conserve its strength. It does not like being transplanted so that it is best to plant out from pots.
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