Lupinus formosus

Summer Lupine

Plant Type: Shrub
Sun: Sun
Drainage: Medium
Water: Occasional
Height X Width: 3' X 3'
Santa Clara County Local: Yes
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Over one hundred lupine species grace California. They are found in many plant communities throughout the state - from beaches to alpine meadows, from deserts to redwood forests. It is perhaps our most widespread genus. Although many species have a limited distribution, summer lupine grows in sunny, open areas in much of the state. It grows as a round, upright shrub with olive green leaves. The ornate lavender flowers rise prominently over the leaves in spring. The seeds will ripen in small pods that remind us that lupines are members of the pea family. Once dry, the seed pods explode in the heat of the summer. Watering of summer-dry, perennial lupine can be tricky in the first summer. Fall planting is certainly recommended. Watering should be sparse and at some distance from the base of the plant in the first summer. Water should be withheld subsequently.
Please note that all parts of summer lupine are poisonous.


Deer Resistant: Yes
Attractive to Bees: Yes
Attractive to Butterflies: Yes
Good Under Oaks: No
Evergreen or Deciduous: Evergreen