Lupinus perennis subsp. perennis

Sundial Lupine

$3.00 - $24.00

1/8 oz.
1/4 oz.
1/2 oz.
Out of Stock

3 Pack

Sundial Lupine blooms profusely in racemes with pea-like blue & purple flowers. Palm-shaped leaves surround the plant as an added attraction, making it a popular choice for gardens or restorations with dry, sandy soils. Lupine requires well-drained soils but will adapt to most dry soil types; sand. loam, and gravel. You can find lupine in oak savannas, sand prairies, and pine barrens plant communities.  Lupine foliage can look a little worn by the end of summer, so plan for late summer and fall bloomers nearby in the garden.

This legume is the only host plant for the Karner Blue butterfly, an endangered species native to the Great Lakes region. After Sundial Lupine emerges in spring, the first brood of the Karner Blue Butterfly will hatch from eggs laid the previous summer and feed on the new leaves for 3-4 weeks. Once the caterpillars pupate and emerge as butterflies, they only live for a week or two. During this time, they will mate, and lay eggs of the second and final brood of the season. The second brood will hatch in summer, and lay eggs that will lay dormant through the winter and hatch the following spring. Read more about the Karner Blue butterfly here!

*We recently changed the name "Wild Lupine" to "Sundial Lupine - Lupinus perennis subsp. perennis" to differentiate it from Lupinus polyphyllus - Western Lupine, also commonly called Wild Lupine. Western Lupine is NOT a larval host plant for the endangered Karner Blue, but unfortunately it has been labeled as such and has infiltrated the native seed market, behaving aggressively in Midwest and Northeast climates and hybridizing with L.perennisL. polyphyllus has 11ā€“17 leaflets and may reach up to 5" across while L. perennis leaves are smaller and have less leaflets, 7-11 leaflets that reach about 2" in length.

When ripe, the seedpod explodes aiding in distribution. Birds and small mammals will feed on the seeds. Check out this cool video of our Lupine seed harvest!

Species of genus Lupinus are legumes. Most legume species harbor beneficial bacteria called rhizobia on their roots. Genus-specific strains of this bacterium called inoculum can aid in the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen and improve long-term health of native plant communities. Inoculum is naturally-occurring in most soils and additional amendment is usually not needed. However, in low fertility soils it may be necessary. Genus-specific strains are available at

Live Plant Shipping Table

Spring Fall Age/Size
Dormant Bare Roots
N/A October 1 year
Potted 3-Packs May/June August/September 2.5" wide x 3.5" deep pots

Lupinus perennis subsp. perennis - Sundial Lupine

Map Key

Present in state
Present but introduced in county
Present and native in county; not rare
Not present in state
Present and native in county; rare
Species extirpated (historic)
State or county listed as noxious
Present in state; exotic

This map shows the native and introduced (adventive) range of this species. Given appropriate habitat and climate, native plants can be grown outside their range.

9 Questions asked on Lupinus perennis subsp. perennis

Will these grow in SE Wisconsin-mostly clay soil but would like to have habitat for the endangered butterfly šŸ¦‹
Wild Lupine prefers sunny sites with well-drained soils and a sandy component, but it will grow in mesic (medium) soil. If your clay soil does not hold moisture excessively, I would give it a try. Seeds are easy to germinate.
Hi! I was wondering what the lifespan is for Wild Lupine. Thanks!
Hi Aaron. It is a true perennial so should come back for many years IF it likes the spot. It can be a finicky plant; good soil moisture drainage is a must. It forms a deep tap root when mature and will withstand drought. It is quite easy to start from seed so if it likes the site, it will spread nicely over time by seed.
I keep hearing lupine is an invasive species. Is this really true? Iā€™m planting a pollinator garden and want to add these to it. I think they are beautiful.
Hi Joan. I think you must be hearing about Lupinus polyphyllus - Big-leaf Lupine, which can be invasive outside of its native range of the Western US. Take a look at the 'range map' tab on this web page for Lupinus perennis - it is very much a Midwest and East Coast species, and not at all aggressive or invasive.
Can they be planted in containers?
Hi Denise. We would advise against it, even for a short time. Lupine makes a deep tap root and likes dry, sandy upland soils. Natural soil conditions are hard to replicate in a pot and watering just right is very difficult.
Is wild Lupine poisonous to mammals?
Hi Isabelle, Although deer, small mammals, and birds eat the foliage and seeds, Lupine is known to be toxic to mammals (including humans) if the seeds are ingested in large quantities.
How long does lupinus perennis take to go from germination to bloom? Is this within one season or does it need two years to establish?
Hi Victor, Because Wild Lupine is perennial, it can often take a few years to bloom for the first time.
Are these seeds inoculated?
Hi Eric. No, they are not. You can buy Lupine-specific inoculum HERE if you want.
Hello, In New England, the springs have been very dry recently, and last year most of the seeds I sowed died before they could establish. For taprooted species like lupine and other legumes, would it be harmful to start the seeds together in a bed where I can care for them until they become self-sufficient, and later transplant them?
Good question, M. Lupine can be pretty fussy about being transplanted, so starting them on-site is preferable. But if you are willing to experiment, try starting them in a bed where you can keep an eye on them. The seedlings will certainly benefit from deep watering during drought conditions. Allow the plants to grow good and strong in the garden setting before moving them to their destination site. Several of our bare root producers recommend root-pruning to help transplant mature taproot species. We have also found that Lupine tolerates autumn transplanting much better than spring transplanting.
Are lupine salt tolerant?
Hi Katie. Wild Lupine is potentially salt tolerant; there has not been enough research to say one way or the other, though. We'll keep you posted!


Growing your own plants from seed is the most economical way to add natives to your home. Before you get started, one of the most important things to know about the seeds of wild plants is that many have built-in dormancy mechanisms that prevent the seed from germinating. In nature, this prevents a population of plants from germinating all at once, before killing frosts, or in times of drought. To propagate native plants, a gardener must break this dormancy before seed will grow.

Each species is different, so be sure to check the GERMINATION CODE listed on the website, in the catalog, or on your seed packet. Then, follow the GERMINATION INSTRUCTIONS prior to planting. Some species don't need any pre-treatment to germinate, but some species have dormancy mechanisms that must be broken before the seed will germinate. Some dormancy can be broken in a few minutes, but some species take months or even years.

Seed dormancy can be broken artificially by prolonged refrigeration of damp seed in the process of cold/moist STRATIFICATION. A less complicated approach is to let nature handle the stratifying through a dormant seeding, sowing seeds on the surface of a weed-free site in late fall or winter. Tucked safely beneath the snow, seeds will be conditioned by weathering to make germination possible in subsequent growing seasons.

To learn more, read our BLOG: How to Germinate Native Seeds

Dormant Bare Root Plants

We dig plants when they are dormant from our outdoor beds and ship them April-May and October. Some species go dormant in the summer and we can ship them July/August. We are among the few still employing this production method, which is labor intensive but plant-friendly. They arrive to you dormant, with little to no top-growth (bare-root), packed in peat moss. They should be planted as soon as possible. Unlike greenhouse-grown plants, bare-root plants can be planted during cold weather or anytime the soil is not frozen. A root photo is included with each species to illustrate the optimal depth and orientation. Planting instructions/care are also included with each order.

Download: Installing Your Bare-Root Plants

Potted Plants

3-packs and trays of 32, 38, or 50 plants leave our Midwest greenhouses based on species readiness (being well-rooted for transit) and order date; Spring shipping is typically early May through June, and Fall shipping is mid-August through September. Potted 3-packs and trays of 38 plugs are started from seed in the winter so are typically 3-4 months old when they ship. Trays of 32/50 plugs are usually overwintered so are 1 year old. Plant tray cells are approximately 2ā€ wide x 5ā€ deep in the trays of 38 and 50, and 2.5" wide x 3.5" deep in the 3-packs and trays of 32; ideal for deep-rooted natives. Full-color tags and planting & care instructions are included with each order.

Download: Planting and Care of Potted Plants

*PLEASE NOTE: we are a mail order nursery and have no retail facilities, but you may pick up your order if prior arrangements are made. Pick up orders are subject to **MN Sales Tax.

US Shipping & Handling Charges

SEED $100.00 and under: $5.00
Retail SEED orders over $100.00 ship free!

Custom seed mixes or discounted seed sales over $100, add 5% of the total seed cost
(for orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required)

BARE ROOT and POTTED PLANTS $50.00 and under: $9.00
over $50.00: 18% of the total plant cost. (For orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required.)

TOOLS and BOOKS have the shipping fee included in the cost of the product (within the contiguous US).

**We are required to collect state sales tax in certain states. Your state's eligibility and % will be calculated at checkout. MN State Sales Tax of 7.375% is applied for orders picked up at our MN location. Shipping & handling charges are also subject to the sales tax.

Shipping Season

SEED, TOOLS and BOOKS are sent year-round. Most orders ship within 1-3 business days.

BARE ROOT PLANTS are shipped during optimal transplanting time: Spring (April-May) and Fall (Oct). Some ephemeral species are also available for summer shipping. Since our plants are field-grown, Nature sets the schedule each year as to when our season will begin and end. We fill all orders, on a first-come, first-serve basis, to the best of our ability depending on weather conditions beyond our control.

POTTED PLANTS (Trays of 32/38/50 plugs and 3-packs) typically begin shipping early May and go into June; shipping time is heavily dependent on all the species in your order being well-rooted. If winter-spring greenhouse growing conditions are favorable and all species are well-rooted at once, then we ship by order date (first come, first serve). We are a Midwest greenhouse, and due to the challenges of getting all the species in the Mix & Match and Pre-Designed Garden Kits transit-ready at the same time, we typically can't ship before early May. Earlier shipment requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

*We are unable to ship PLANTS (bare root or potted) outside the contiguous US or to CALIFORNIA due to regulations.


We ship using USPS, UPS and Spee Dee. UPS and Spee Dee are often used for expediting plant orders; they will not deliver to Post Office Box numbers, so please also include your street address if ordering plants. We send tracking numbers to your email address so please include it when you order.



Germination Code
Life Cycle
Sun Exposure
Full, Partial
Soil Moisture
Medium-Dry, Dry
2 feet
Bloom Time
May, June, July
Bloom Color
Pollinator Favorite: butterflies, moths, bees, wasps, beetles
Bird Favorite: seeds, insects, fruit, nectar, nesting, perch
Highly recommended for home landscaping
USDA Zones
Plant Spacing
Catalog Code