Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Hartweg's Lupin, Lupinus hartwegii
Today was drizzly and humid so the furry finger leaves of this annual Lupin collected raindrops in the centre of each 'hand' which made them shine like diamonds. I guess this water collection habit is an adaptation to the variable rainfall of its native Mexico, but it also makes it the easiest variety to grow in a warm climate. Mine drooped when running low on water but sprang back to life quickly when given a drink. I love the flower colours as they are so clear and bright...... sky blue, cobalt, pure white and pale to dark pink. I sowed seed in late autumn, treating the seed first with some hot water to break the hard seed coat. Germination was good and though it is recommended that they dislike transplanting after germination I did not notice any setback. Lupins like a fertilizer which is low in nitrogen as they 'fix' their own by producing it in nodules on the root system. This makes them a good plant to use in a vegetable garden and the whole plant can be dug into the soil following flowering. If you live in a cool climate the flowering season of this variety will continue well into summer if regular removal of old flowers is carried out. Plants normally reach about 45 to 60 cm in height when in flower.