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THERMOPSIS lupinoides

Image of Thermopsis lupinoides

Mark A. Miller

Family

Fabaceae

Botanical Name

THERMOPSIS lupinoides

Plant Common Name

Lanceleaf Thermopsis, Russian False Lupine

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

As long as the summertime temperatures don't get too hot, the Russian false lupine is an excellent and dynamic addition to a meadow or mixed perennial garden. This herbaceous plant, growing from slowly spreading rhizomes, forms a tidy clump. It's native to Siberia and Alaska.

Touch the green leaves of the Russian false lupine and enjoy a silky but hairy sensation. The leaves comprise three lance-shaped leaflets and two leaf-like stipules. In spring, stem tips produce an upright spike of bright yellow blossoms that whorl around the stem. The petals are claw-shaped and are pollinated by bees. The flat seed pods that then develop will strongly recurve as they mature.

Grow Russian false lupine in full sun to partial shade in any light-textured, loamy, well-drained soil. Other soils are tolerated as long as they have good drainage and have a crumbly texture and some fertility. In warm to hot summer climate regions, this perennial needs shade in the afternoon. Overall, Russian false lupine is not heat tolerant and looks its most spectacular in cool-summer landscapes. Plants wither away or look sickly after flowering if it's too hot and dry. Sow seeds to add more plants, but root division is possible. Plants resent root disturbance but will very slowly recover after transplanting. Use the false lupine in the mixed border, rockery or meadow garden.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    7 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    2 - 7

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    10"-36" / 25.4cm - 91.4cm (22)

  • Width

    18"-36" / 45.7cm - 91.4cm (25)

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring

  • Native To

    Alaska, Russia/Siberia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Light Yellow, Lemon Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Yellow Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Alpine, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes