Lupinus flavoculatus A.Heller
Yelloweyes, Yellow-eyed Lupine
Bloom Time: Spring to summer
Lupinus flavoculatus is a small, hairy, annual herb up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall. Each palmate leaf is made up of 7 to 9 leaflets up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) long. The inflorescence is a small, dense spiral of flowers each up to 0.4 inch (1 cm) long. The flower is bright to deep blue with a yellowish spot on its banner. The fruit is a somewhat oval-shaped, hairy, legume pod up to 0.4 inch (1 cm) long. It contains one or two wrinkled seeds.
It is grown as an annual plant, so it has no USDA hardiness zone.
How to Grow and Care
Lupines need neutral to slightly acidic soil, although they can grow in very acidic soil conditions. Lupines don’t need rich loam, but it’s important to grow the plants in very well-draining soil to avoid root rot. Sandy soil conditions and poor rocky soil promote the growth of the Lupine’s deep tap root.
Starting Lupines from seed is an economical way to get a showy flower garden the following season.
The seed coat is tough, and seeds have a better germination rate if you nick the seed coat or soak them in water overnight. Plant them about 0.25 inch (6.5 mm) deep outdoors in a permanent area that receives full sun, as they do not transplant well due to their long tap root. Expect germination in 14 to 30 days.
Although Lupines demand good drainage, they also like regular irrigation, so provide the equivalent of 1 inch (2.5 cm) of rain each week if conditions are dry.
Lupines don’t require fertilization, and in fact, too much fertilizer can encourage excess foliage growth at the expense of blooms.
It is endemic to California and Nevada, in mountains and plateaus of the Mojave Desert, and in the Inyo Mountains and White Mountains.
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