The name Lupine comes from the Latin
“lupus,” meaning wolf. This refers to the folk belief that this plant took
nutrients from the soil. Ironically, this plant actually improves the soil
because of its nitrogen fixing abilities. As the name suggests, this native
wildflower often grows at high altitudes.
Mountain Lupine Germination: To soften the hard coating on
these seeds, rub them lightly with sandpaper or soak them in 180 degrees F water
overnight before sowing. Sow them in early spring, planting 1/2” deep. Keep the
soil lightly moist until germination.
Growing Mountain Lupine Seeds: These seedlings grow very
slowly and are rather fragile. Water them occasionally and protect from freezing
temperatures. Mature plants thrive even in drought conditions and are known for
being very fire resistant. This plant can be poisonous to livestock if present
in excessive amounts. These plants resent having their roots disturbed.
Harvesting Mountain Lupine: For cut flowers, choose stems
with flowers that have just opened. Strip the foliage that will fall below the
water level, and place in water immediately.
Saving Mountain Lupine Seeds: As the seed pods develop,
watch them carefully. As soon as they ripen fully they will split and drop their
seed. When the pods begin to turn brown, remove them and spread them out to dry.
Remove the seed from the pods and store it in a cool, dry place. Keep in mind
that these seeds are highly poisonous.