sundial lupine

Lupinus perennis


Sundial lupine are well known in Wisconsin’s central sand counties and the Northern Highlands. It loves very sandy, open and sunny (sometimes partly shaded) borders or clearings in open, dry black oak-Hill’s oak-jack pine woods, oak barrens, sandy prairies, roadsides and old fields, and infrequently on sandstone bluffs and ridges. Sundial lupine, also called wild lupine, are the primary host plant for the federally endangered Karner Blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa sub. samuelis). They are also the larval host of the Frosted Elfin butterfly (Callophrys irus), which is listed as threatened on the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory list.

Growing Sundial Lupine:

Sundial lupine really like it sandy and prefer acidic over alkaline soil. They spread easily from seed in the right location. The NRCS Plant Guide provides tips for successfully growing lupine on your property.


wild lupine

USDA Symbol: Common Name: Scientific Name:
LUPE3 sundial lupine Lupinus perennis

ITIS TSN: 26091

Category: Dicot


Kingdom: Plantae


Super Division: Spermatophyta

Division: Magnoliophyta


Class: Magnoliopsida

SubClass: Rosidae

Order: Fabales

Family: Fabaceae

Counties: Adams, Barron, Bayfield, Brown, Buffalo, Burnett, Chippewa, Clark, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Douglas, Dunn, Eau Claire, Grant, Green, Iowa, Jackson, Juneau, Kenosha, La Crosse, Lafayette, Lincoln, Manitowoc, Marinette, Marquette, Menominee, Milwaukee, Monroe, Oconto, Outagamie, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Racine, Richland, Rock, Sauk, Shawano, St. Croix, Vernon, Vilas, Washburn, Waukesha, Waupaca, Waushara, Wood

Natural Community: Oak Barrens

Coefficient of Conservation: 6

Duration: Growth Habit: Native Status:
Perennial Forb/herb L48(N)CAN(N)SPM(I)

Active Growth Period:

After Harvest Regrowth Rate:


Carbon to Nitrogen Ratio:

Coppice Potential: No

Conspicuous Fall Color: No

Fire Resistant: No

Flower Color: Blue

Conspicuous Flower: Yes

Foliage Color: Green

Foliage Light Porosity Summer:

Foliage Porosity Winter:

Foliage Texture:

Fruit/Seed Color: Brown

Fruit/Seed Conspicuous: No

Growth Form: Bunch

Growth Rate:

Height at Base Age (Max):

Height at Maturity:

Known Alelopath:

Leaf Retention: No

Lifespan: Moderate

Low Growing Grass:


Shape and Orientation:

Toxicity: Slight

Height (min): 8

Height (max): 24

Root Type: taproot

Adapted to Coarse Textured Soils: Yes

Adapted to Medium Textured Soils: Yes

Adapted to Fine Textured Soils: No

Anaerobic Tolerance:

CaCO3 Tolerance:

Cold Stratification Required:

Drought Tolerance:

Fertility Requirement: Low

_Fire Tolerance:

Frost Free Days, Minimum:

Hedge Tolerance: None

Moisture Use: Low, Medium

pH (Minimum): 6.8

pH (Maximum): 7.2

Planting Density per Acre, Minimum:

Planting Density per Acre, Maximum:

Precipitation (Minimum):

Precipitation (Maximum):

Root Depth, Minimum (inches):

Salinity Tolerance:

Shade Tolerance:

Temperature, Minimum (°F):

Plant Spacing (min): 8

Plant Spacing (max): 12

Bloom Period: Commercial Availability: Fruit/Seed Abundance:
Late Spring Routinely Available
Fruit/Seed Period Begin: Fruit/Seed Period End: Fruit/Seed Persistence:
Propogated by Bare Root: Propogated by Bulbs: Propogated by Container:
Propogated by Corms: Propogated by Cuttings: Propogated by Seed:
Propogated by Sod: Propogated by Sprigs: Propogated by Tubers:
Seeds per Pound: Seed Spread Rate: Seedling Vigor:
Small Grain: Vegetative Spread Rate: Propagation Treatment:
Moist Stratification
Days to Stratify: Direct Sowing Time:
10 Fall

Benefits: Butterflies, Deer Resistant, Host Plant, Hummingbirds, Pollinators, Birds

Berry/Nut/Seed Product: Christmas Tree Product: Fodder Product:
-- -- --
Fuelwood Product: Lumber Product: Naval Store Product:
-- -- --
Nursery Stock Product: Palatable Browse Animal: Palatable Graze Animal:
-- -- --
Palatable Human: Post Product: Protein Potential:
-- -- --
Pulpwood Product: Veneer Product:
-- --
USDA Symbol Scientific Name Common Name ITIS TSN
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USDA Symbol Scientific Name Common Name ITIS TSN
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USDA Symbol Scientific Name Common Name ITIS TSN
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USDA Symbol Scientific Name Common Name ITIS TSN
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USDA Symbol Scientific Name Common Name ITIS TSN
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USDA Symbol Scientific Name Common Name ITIS TSN
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USDA Symbol Scientific Name Common Name ITIS TSN
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USDA Symbol Scientific Name Common Name ITIS TSN
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USDA Symbol Scientific Name Common Name ITIS TSN
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USDA Symbol Scientific Name Common Name ITIS TSN
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WisFlora database detailed list of herbarium samples collected across Wisconsin including the location of each.


  1. USDA Plants Database
  2. NRCS Plant Guide
  3. USFWS Fact Sheet
  4. WisFlora Database
  5. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Database
  6. Cocrane, Theodore; Iltis, Hugh. Atlas of Wisconsin Prairie and Savanna Flora

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