Planting some Wild Lupine (Lupinus perennis) in our garden may be a pretty bad idea, but I really want to. They’re such beautiful blue flowers, and I love blue flowers. I’d like to plant them at the north end of the Driveway Border, where they would emerge out of the Hardy Geraniums and Nepetas.
Wild Lupine is native, though uncommon, in this part of Illinois. You may know that it is the only host plant for the endangered Karner Blue Butterfly. However, it’s probably unlikely that we will see any Karner Blues. Wild Lupine is also a host plant for Duskywing butterflies. They are more likely to be seen, but they are terribly drab.
To be honest it’s the color more than anything that makes me want this plant. It starts blooming in late spring so I can imagine it contrasting with the nearby Tulips and Celandine Poppies (Stylophorum diphyllum).
But they’re not exactly the right plant for the right place because Wild Lupine wants dry, sandy, acidic soil. The soil in this border is loamy with medium moisture (it’s a raised bed). And it’s highly alkaline.
But who am I kidding? I’m going to buy some. My recklessness will most likely lead to premature death for several poor, innocent Wild Lupines. On the other hand, I’ve killed several hundred inappropriately placed plants already, what’s a few more? It’s an experiment.
I can’t write about Lupines without including a link to the Monty Python skit about Dennis Moore, the famous Lupine-stealing 18th century highwayman.
Have any of you tried growing Wild Lupine in your gardens? How did it work out, for the Lupines, I mean?