Lupinus lepidus var. utahensis

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Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27
Lupinus lepidus var. utahensis

From seed in 2010, these little beauties are putting up flower stalks this year!
Two different plants of Lupinus lepidus var. utahensis, the second a little more advanced... also a tighter plant in slightly leaner conditions.

Peter George
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-09-03

I've tried them from seed 10 times, and although I've actually gotten a few flowers one year, they have only wintered over once. I've grown them in sand, in gravel and sand, and pretty much every other soil medium possible, yet they've simply never really liked it here in the northeast. The person who originally introduced me to rock gardening, Larry Rue, built a huge sand berm about 15 feet long, 3 feet wide and 5 feet tall, and had them self sowing on the south face. Somehow I don't think my wife would be terribly happy if I replicated it here in my garden area, or as she puts it, in the territory she has permitted me to garden. But it IS a beautiful plant, one I'm sure I'll try again to please enough so it will survive 2 years at least.

Peter George, Petersham, MA (north central MA, close to the NH/VT borders), zones 5b and 6 around the property.

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Well, they've only been through one winter for me so far, which doesn't say much yet! 
Updated photos of Lupinus lepidus var. utahensis:

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

And a few more to give an impression of the plant overall:
     

 

There was an incredible density of flowers on both plants through much of the summer - about 40 flowers per plant!  The bigger plant rotted off towards the end of summer in this wettish season in my too-rich tufa bed, but was replaced by a multitude of seedlings, which I will move to higher, leaner parts of the new tufa beds in spring.

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Peter George
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-09-03

What is a "too rich tufa bed?"

Peter George, Petersham, MA (north central MA, close to the NH/VT borders), zones 5b and 6 around the property.

Weiser
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-04

Lori
Nice to see one of the other varieties of L. lepidus. I hope you have good luck moving the seedlings.
I grow Lupinus lepidus var. sellulus. It is a locale native and loves a dry sight.

From the High Desert Steppe
of the Great Basin and the Eastern
Escarpment of the Sierra Nevada Range
Located in Reno/Sparks,NV  zone 6-7
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sierrarainshadow/
John P Weiser

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Peter wrote:

What is a "too rich tufa bed?"

I mean that the soil mix packed in between the tufa blocks contains more organic soil than it probably should (a long story)... also that area is not raised much above the level of the surrounding, and underneath it was an old rose bed - pure compost.  All in all, from the combination of factors, I think that area holds too much moisture, hence the one rotted Lupinus lepidus var. utahensis.

John, your var. sellulus is rather showier, since it holds its flowers above the leaves - very nice plant.  The flowers on var. utahensis are tucked into the crown, as the photos show... although I find the furriness of the inflorescence very appealing!

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Weiser
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-04

Lori
Var. Utahensis grows in my neighborhood also, but I've never come across it. Thought I'd post some links to the two varieties.

http://www.calflora.org/cgi-bin/species_query.cgi?where-taxon=Lupinus+le...
http://www.calflora.org/cgi-bin/species_query.cgi?where-taxon=Lupinus+le...

From the High Desert Steppe
of the Great Basin and the Eastern
Escarpment of the Sierra Nevada Range
Located in Reno/Sparks,NV  zone 6-7
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sierrarainshadow/
John P Weiser

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Quite a big difference between the varieties.

Both very admirable...

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

I see from the CalPhotos site that there is a Lupinus ssp. sellulus var. lobbii (Donner Lake Lupine).
http://calphotos.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?enlarge=0000+0000+0708+0202

Lupinus seems to be a genus that has only been horticulturally "scratched at the surface"; so many wonderful garden-worthy species.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Anonymous
Title: Guest

Lori,  I'm surprised you are growing Lupine on tufa.  The lupines I have seen always prefer calcium poor silicaeous based (acid) soils.  This is not to say the entire genus is like Lupinus articus, perennis, and polyphyllus.  However, if species in a genus requires a certain soil condition then usually most (if not all) of the other members also require these same conditions.

James

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