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Lupinus perennis

Lupinus perennis

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids I
Ordo: Fabales

Familia: Fabaceae
Subfamilia: Faboideae
Tribus: Genisteae
Genus: Lupinus
Species: Lupinus perennis
Varietates: L. p. var. gracilis – L. p. var. perennis

Lupinus perennis L., 1753
Native distribution areas:

Continental: Northern America
Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Rhode I., Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Introduced into:
Assam, Austria, Czechoslovakia, France, Krym, Norway, Romania, South European Russia, Ukraine

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum. Tomus II: 721. Reference page.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. Lupinus perennis in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2021 Jan 27. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2021. Lupinus perennis. Published online. Accessed: Jan 27 2021. 2021. Lupinus perennis. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 27 Jan 2021.
Hassler, M. 2021. Lupinus perennis. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2021. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published online. Accessed: 2021 Jan 27. Reference page.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Lupinus perennis in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 07-Oct-06.

Vernacular names
العربية: ترمس معمر
Ελληνικά : Λούπινο το πολυετές
English: Sundial Lupine
italiano: Lupino perenne
norsk: Jærlupin
ирон: Æхсæдæнтæ
română: Lupin peren
русский: Люпин многолетний
svenska: Gruslupin
українська: Люпин багаторічний
中文: 宿根羽扇豆

Lupinus perennis (also wild perennial lupine, wild lupine, sundial lupine, blue lupine, Indian beet, or old maid's bonnets) is a flowering plant in the family Fabaceae.[2][3] It is widespread in the eastern part of the USA (from Texas and Florida to Maine) and Minnesota, Canada (southern Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador), and on the coasts of the Arctic Ocean, where it grows in sandy areas such as dunes and savannas.[4][5]


The leaves are palmately compound with 7–11 leaflets arranged radially. Their stalks are numerous, erect, striated, and slightly pubescent. The leaflets are obovate, with a blunted apex or pointed spear, and sparsely pubescent.[3] Petioles are longer than leaflets; stipules are very small.

The inflorescence is long, sparsely flowered, sometimes almost verticillate. Flowers color can be white, blue, purple, or pink, but are most often blue or bluish purple. The calyx is silky, without bractlets; its upper labium with a protuberant basis, is integral or weakly emarginate, the lower one is integral, almost twice longer than upper. Floral bracts are styliform, shorter than the calyx, early falling. The corolla is three times longer than the calyx. The vexillum is shorter than the wings. The carina is weakly ciliate. Pods are yellow-grayish-brown, with straight lines, necklace-shaped, short and closely hirsute, easy shattered, with 5–6 seeds. Seed is oval with a light hilum.

Lupinus perennis is commonly mistaken for Lupinus polyphyllus (large-leaved lupine), which is commonly planted along roadsides.[6][7] Lupinus polyphyllus is not native to eastern North America, but has naturalized in areas in the upper Midwest and New England.[6][8] Lupinus polyphyllus has 11–17 leaflets that can reach 13 cm (5 in) in length while Lupinus perennis has 7–11 leaflets which only reach around 5 cm (2 in) in length.[6]
Lupinus perennis (blue flower) and Caltha palustris shown in a plate from Studies of Plant Life in Canada (1906)

Lupinus perennis is used as foodplants by the caterpillars of several lepidoptera. Among these are the clouded sulphur, eastern tailed blue, gray hairstreak, silvery blue, wild indigo duskywing, frosted elfin (Callophrys irus), the eastern Persius duskywing (Erynnis persius persius),[9] and the rare and endangered Karner blue (Plebejus melissa samuelis), whose caterpillars feed only on the lupine leaves.[10] Leaves that have been fed on by Karner blues have distinctive transparent areas where the larvae have selectively eaten only the green, fleshy parts.

The lupine has been declining in number and range since the Industrial Revolution. It is estimated that it has declined in number by about 90% since 1900. This decline has in turn been deemed one of the primary causes of the decline of the Karner blue butterfly. The main threats to Lupinus perennis are thought to be habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, and poor management. Currently it is considered "rare" in Pennsylvania, a species of special concern in Rhode Island, threatened in Iowa, Maryland, and New Hampshire;[2] it is endangered in Vermont, and is extirpated (locally extinct) in Maine.[2][5][11]

Human development has eliminated a large portion of its viable habitat. Remaining habitat is often fragmented, which is problematic for the lupine because it limits the range over which it can reproduce. Viable lupine habitat is often difficult to maintain because it flourishes after fires and other forms of disturbance. One reason this occurs is that lupine seed coats are so tough that only pressure changes due to rapid heating or abrasion are strong enough to allow water to penetrate and start germination. Moreover, fires, feeding by large ungulates, and mowing can improve habitat quality for established lupines by changing soil quality, vegetative structure, and leaf litter depth.

"Lupinus perennis L." International Plant Names Index. Retrieved 2018-09-23.
USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Lupinus perennis". The PLANTS Database ( Greensboro, North Carolina: National Plant Data Team. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
Dickinson, T.; Metsger, D.; Bull, J.; & Dickinson, R. (2004). The ROM Field Guide to Wildflowers of Ontario. Toronto:Royal Ontario Museum, p. 270.
Hilty, John. "Wild Lupine (Lupinus perennis)". Retrieved 2018-09-23.
2014 county distribution map. Biota of North America Program. Accessed 12 June 2020.
"Rare Plant Fact Sheet for Lupinus perennis". Maine Natural Areas Program. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
"Lupinus perennis: Similar Species". Retrieved 12 June 2020. Based on 132 misidentifications on iNaturalist as of June 2020.
2014 county distribution map. Biota of North America Program. Accessed 12 June 2020.
Eastern Persius duskywing, Species at Risk in Ontario
The Xerces Society (2016), Gardening for Butterflies: How You Can Attract and Protect Beautiful, Beneficial Insects, Timber Press.
"Lupinus perennis". NatureServe. Retrieved 12 June 2020.

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