Mark A. Miller
Plant Common Name
Lanceleaf Thermopsis, Russian False Lupine
This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.
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.
AHS Heat Zone
7 - 1
USDA Hardiness Zone
2 - 7
A1, A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7
Full Sun, Partial Sun
10"-36" / 25.4cm - 91.4cm (22)
18"-36" / 45.7cm - 91.4cm (25)
Spring, Late Spring