There are about 280 different kinds of Lupine spread out over most of the world. Over one hundred fifty different kinds of Lupine grow in North America. Three of them are found here in The Sea Ranch: Bush Lupine, Lupinus arboreus, Miniature Lupine Lupinus bicolor, and Varied Lupine, Lupinus bicolor. Bush Lupine and Varied Lupin are both fairly large bushes while Miniature Lupine lives up to its name by hiding down in the grasses. All three are beautiful additions to our wild garden. You will find them in a variety of different colors - sometimes on the same plant.
Scientists tell us that lupine seeds (Lupine beans) are rich in essential amino acids and some folks find them to be tasty when cured like olives. The Romans used to eat a lot of them back in the day and spread them throughout their empire. Although some folks find them to be tasty, they can also be toxic to at least some people. (We are warned that people who are allergic to peanuts should avoid Lupin beans because they can cause a similar problem to that posed by peanuts.) Ironically, it was originally thought that Lupine robbed the soil of nutrients, but today we understand that it actually adds nitrogen to the soil and enriches it. You will find Lupine blooming all through the open areas of the Ranch from March through June.