About Russell Lupine: George Russell, a self-taught horticulturalist from Great Britain, produced this lovely hybrid in the early 1920’s after nearly two decades of cross-breeding and experimentation. On being honored by the Royal Horticultural Society for his achievement, Mr. Russell stated that all the really crucial work had been done by the humble little bees in his garden. The name Lupine comes from the Latin “lupus,” meaning wolf. This refers to the folk belief that this plant took nutrients from the soil. Ironically, this plant actually improves the soil because of its nitrogen fixing abilities.
Russell Lupine Germination: To soften the hard coating on these seeds, rub them lightly with sandpaper or soak them in 180 degrees F water overnight before sowing. Sow them in early spring, planting 1/2” deep. Keep the soil lightly moist until germination.
Growing Russell Lupine Seeds: These seedlings grow very slowly and are rather fragile. Water them occasionally and protect from freezing temperatures. Though mature plants tolerate drought conditions well, provide water occasionally in very dry weather. This plant can be poisonous to livestock if present in excessive amounts. These plants resent having their roots disturbed.
Harvesting Russell Lupine: For cut flowers, choose stems with flowers that have just opened. Strip the foliage that will fall below the water level, and place in water immediately.
Saving Russell Lupine Seeds: As the seed pods develop, watch them carefully. As soon as they ripen fully they will split and drop their seed. When the pods begin to turn brown, remove them and spread them out to dry. Remove the seed from the pods and store it in a cool, dry place. Keep in mind that these seeds are highly poisonous.
Detailed Russell Lupine Info: Origin: US Native Wildflower Other Common Names: Streamside Lupine, Bigleaf Lupine, Garden Lupine, Large-leaved Lupine, Washington Lupine Duration: Perennial Bloom Time: Spring Height: 12-36 inches Spacing: 6-12 inches Light: Full Sun Soil Moisture: Medium USDA Zone: 3a-7b Seeds Per Oz: 1,100 Produces a bushy plant with star-shaped leaflet clusters and spikes of flowers in varied shades of purple, pink, and yellow.