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What is lupine

What is lupine

What is lupine

Kurlovich, B.S., Rep’ev, S.I., Shchelko, L.G., Budanova, V.I., Petrova, M.V., Buravtseva, T.V., Stankevich, A.K., Kartuzova, L.T., Alexandrova, T.G., Teplyakova and T.E., Malysh, L.K. 1995. Theoretical basis of plant breeding. Vol.111. The gene bank and breeding of grain legumes (lupine, vetch, soya, and bean), St.Petersburg, VIR, 438p.

Lupine

lupine, (genus Lupinus), genus of about 200 species of herbaceous and partly woody plants in the pea family (Fabaceae). Lupines are widely distributed in the Mediterranean area but are especially numerous on the prairies of western North America. Many are grown as ornamentals for their attractive flower spikes, and a few species are useful as cover crops and forage crops. Fixing nitrogen from the air in a soil form useful for other plants. Herbaceous lupines can reach up to 1.25 metres (4 feet) tall and have low palmately divided leaves. Most species have compact upright flower spikes, and through hybridization and selection some highly ornamental varieties have been developed. In Europe and elsewhere, many tall species of lupines are woody shrubs that reach more than 2 metres (6.5 feet) in height.

Look for blooming lupine on slopes of hills and ridges and along the Columbia River in drier gravels and cobbles in April and May. Eight species are found in the Columbia Basin, many of them difficult to distinguish from one another. You may see low-growing species from 4 to 6 inches tall; others can reach more than 2 feet. Velvet lupine, sulphur lupine, and spurred lupine are three common local species. Velvet lupine is tall with a long spikelet of flowers while sulphur lupine is a smaller plant with more branches. Spurred lupine is more abundant on ridge tops.Here's how: Use a magnifying glass or a hand lens to examine the leaf surface. A lupine's leaf structure is called palmate because the leaflets radiate out from a central point similar to fingers from the palm of a hand. Tiny extensions may be present that make the leaf look a little furry. These tiny appendages reflect the heat of the sun and reduce water loss. These structures make leaves look gray-green instead of bright green. You may want to collect a variety of leaves and compare them with lupine. (Source: workbasedlearning.pnnl.gov)

 

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