Doug Churchill Photography | Wildflowers | Lupin @ Table Mountain

Lupin @ Table Mountain

Lupin @ Table Mountain

"Lupinus, commonly known as lupin or lupine (North America), is a genus of flowering plants in the legume family (Fabaceae). The genus comprises about 280 species (Hughes), with major centers of diversity in South and Western North America (Subgen. Platycarpos (Wats.) Kurl.), parts of the Southern Hemisphere (New Zealand and parts of Australia) and the Andes and secondary centers in the Mediterranean region and Africa (Subgen. Lupinus).[1][2]


The species are mostly herbaceous perennial plants 0.3–1.5 m (0.98–4.9 ft) tall, but some are annual plants and a few are shrubs up to 3 m (9.8 ft) tall with one species (Lupinus jaimehintoniana from the Mexican state of Oaxaca) up to 8 m (26 ft) high with a trunk 20 cm (7.9 in) in diameter. They have a characteristic and easily recognized leaf shape, with soft green to grey-green leaves which in many species bear silvery hairs, often densely so. The leaf blades are usually palmately divided into 5–28 leaflets or reduced to a single leaflet in a few species of the southeastern United States. The flowers are produced in dense or open whorls on an erect spike, each flower 1–2 cm long, with a typical peaflower shape with an upper 'standard' or 'banner', two lateral 'wings' and two lower petals fused as a 'keel'. Due to the flower shape, several species are known as bluebonnets or quaker bonnets. The fruit is a pod containing several seeds.

[edit] Usage

[edit] Culinary

The yellow legume seeds of lupins, commonly called lupin beans, were popular with the Romans, who spread the plant's cultivation throughout the Roman Empire; hence common names like lupini in Romance languages. The name 'Lupin' derives from the Latin word lupinus (meaning "of or belonging to a wolf" [3]), and was given with regard to the fact that many found that the plant has a tendency to ravage the land on which it grows. The peas, which appear after the flowering period, were also said to be fit only for the consumption of wolves. Lup