Lupin Lupinus 'Beefeater'

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
lupin 'Beefeater'


Lupinus 'Beefeater' is characterized by its striking flowers that are set on long, upright spikes. These flower spikes display a vibrant range of colors, typically showcasing shades of deep red and sometimes orange or yellow hues, which create a vivid contrast with the surrounding greenery. The individual flowers are densely packed along each spike, giving the plant a lush, full appearance. The blossoms have a classic pea-like shape, which is common among lupines, with a structure that is both intricate and captivating. The foliage of Lupinus 'Beefeater' consists of palmate leaves, which means they are shaped like the palm of a hand with fingers extended. Each leaf is divided into several leaflets that radiate out from a central point, resembling the spokes of a wheel. These leaflets are usually a rich green color and have a smooth to slightly hairy texture. Overall, Lupinus 'Beefeater' possesses an elegant and robust form that displays its colorful blossoms above the attractive foliage, making it a standout plant in gardens and landscapes. Despite the absence of size metrics, it's clear that the plant has a presence that can draw attention and become a focal point wherever it is cultivated.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Beefeater Lupine

    • Common names

      Lupinus 'Beefeater'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Lupine, specifically the Lupinus 'Beefeater' variety, contains toxic alkaloids throughout the plant, including the seeds. Ingestion of lupine can lead to a range of symptoms of poisoning which may include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dizziness, and in severe cases, difficulty in breathing, convulsions, and comas. Chronic ingestion could potentially lead to skeletal muscle weakness and nerve damage. Care should be taken to avoid consuming any part of this plant.

    • To pets

      Lupine is also toxic to pets. If animals ingest lupine, they can suffer from similar symptoms as humans. These may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, lethargy, and in severe cases, seizures and coma. Ingesting large quantities can be fatal, so it's important to prevent pets from accessing and consuming any part of this plant.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      3 feet [91 cm]

    • Spread

      2 feet [60 cm]

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      Western North America


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Attracts Pollinators: Lupins, including the 'Beefeater' variety, are known for their ability to attract bees and other pollinating insects, which are vital for the pollination of many other plants.
    • Aesthetic Appeal: With their tall, colorful spikes of flowers, Lupins add vertical interest and vibrant color to gardens and landscapes.
    • Erosion Control: Lupins have deep root systems which can help stabilize soil and prevent erosion, making them a good choice for slopes or areas prone to soil degradation.
    • Nitrogen Fixation: As members of the legume family, Lupins have the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen into the soil through a symbiotic relationship with bacteria, thereby improving soil fertility.
    • Drought Tolerant: Once established, Lupins are relatively drought tolerant and can survive with minimal watering, which makes them suitable for xeriscaping or gardens in drier climates.
    • Deer Resistant: Lupins are generally not favored by deer, making them a good option for gardens in areas where deer browsing can be a problem.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Lupine seeds can be ground into flour and used as an ingredient in baking, although care must be taken to remove alkaloids that can be bitter and potentially harmful if not properly processed.
    • The flowering spikes of lupines can be used as natural dyes, with various species yielding different shades of yellow, blue, or green depending on the pigments present in the flowers.
    • The fibers from the stems of the lupine plant can be used in textile manufacturing, similar to how flax fibers are used to make linen.
    • Lupine plants can be used in educational settings such as schools or botanical gardens to teach about nitrogen fixation and symbiotic relationships with bacteria in their roots.
    • Gardeners may use lupines as a trap crop to lure slugs and snails away from more valuable plants since these pests are attracted to lupine leaves.
    • Lupine oil, which can be extracted from the seeds, is used in cosmetic formulations like lotions and soaps due to its moisturizing properties.
    • When planted in orchards or vineyards, lupines may serve as a cover crop, preventing soil erosion and retaining moisture in the soil.
    • In the arts, lupine flowers have been used as subjects in photography and painting, valued for their vivid colors and graceful form.
    • Lupines can play a role in bioremediation, as they can grow in poor-quality soils and help improve soil health over time through their nitrogen-fixing capabilities.
    • Due to their nitrogen-fixing abilities, lupines can be used in crop rotation systems to naturally replenish soil fertility and reduce the need for synthetic fertilizers.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Lupine is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Lupine is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Imagination: Lupines often symbolize imagination due to their richly colored and variably patterned blooms that conjure a sense of creativity and whimsy.
    • Innovation: Similarly, the diversity and versatility of lupines may represent innovation or the ability to thrive in various conditions, mirroring the human capacity for invention.
    • Transformation: Because they can enrich poor soil by fixing nitrogen, lupines can also symbolize transformation and the ability to bring about positive change.
    • Admiration: The striking appearance of lupine flowers may be linked to feelings of admiration or fascination, highlighting the plant's natural beauty.
    • Happiness: Lupine's variety of colors can evoke feelings of happiness and joy, being likened to a colorful celebration in the garden.

Every 7-14 days
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Lupine 'Beefeater' requires consistent moisture, especially when establishing and during the growth season. It's important to water these lupines deeply to encourage root development, which can be achieved by applying about one inch of water per week. During hot, dry periods, additional water may be necessary, and you should aim for at least two gallons per week for mature plants. Overwatering should be avoided, as lupines dislike waterlogged soil. Providing a deep watering every 7 to 10 days should suffice, depending on the weather conditions and soil drainage.

  • sunLight

    Lupine 'Beefeater' prefers full sun conditions with at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight daily. The optimal spot for this plant would be in an area that receives unfiltered sunshine for the majority of the day to ensure vigorous growth and prolific blooming. However, in extremely hot climates, some light afternoon shade may be beneficial to protect the lupines from intense heat stress.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The lupine 'Beefeater' thrives best in temperatures between 60°F and 75°F but can tolerate a wider range. They can survive minimum temperatures down to about 20°F, making them fairly frost tolerant. However, temperatures above 85°F can stress the plant and cause growth to slow down. For optimal growth, maintain the environment within the ideal temperature range as much as possible.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning the lupine 'Beefeater' is essential for maintaining plant health and encouraging further blooming. Deadheading spent flowers can stimulate a second bloom. Pruning should be done immediately after the first bloom cycle, typically in the mid to late summer, by removing the flower stalks down to the base of the plant. Cutting back the foliage in late fall or early winter also helps to keep the plant tidy and may reduce the chance of pests and diseases in the following season.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Lupine 'Beefeater', commonly known as Lupine, thrives in a well-draining soil mix rich in organic matter with a slightly acidic to neutral pH of 6.0 to 7.0. Amend garden soil with compost and perlite for optimal results.

  • plantRepotting

    Lupines, including 'Beefeater', generally do not require frequent repotting and prefer to be left undisturbed as they have a deep taproot. Repot only when necessary, such as when the plant outgrows its current container or every 2-3 years.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Lupine 'Beefeater' can tolerate a wide range of humidity levels but performs best if the air is not too dry. Average room humidity is typically sufficient for this plant.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure bright light and good air circulation for Lupines indoors.

    • Outdoor

      Lupines need full sun, well-draining soil, and moderate watering.

    • Hardiness zone

      4-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life of the 'Beefeater' Lupine begins with seed germination, typically in early spring when soil temperatures warm up. The germinated seeds develop into young seedlings that form a rosette of leaves close to the soil surface. As the plant matures, it produces a sturdy stalk that reaches up to 3 feet tall, from which the characteristic colorful spikes of Lupine flowers emerge. After blooming in late spring or early summer, the flowers are pollinated and give way to pods containing seeds. These seed pods mature and eventually burst open, dispersing seeds that can germinate to begin the next generation. During winter or unfavorable conditions, the plant may die back to the ground, but it is capable of regenerating from the roots or shooting up again from self-sown seeds the following season.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • The most popular method of propagating the Lupinus 'Beefeater', commonly known as Lupine, is by seed. Ideally, the best time to sow Lupine seeds is in spring or early summer. To encourage germination, the hard seed coat can be softened through a process called scarification, which involves gently rubbing the seeds with sandpaper or nicking the coat with a knife. After scarification, the seeds should be sown about a quarter-inch deep (approximately 6 millimeters) into well-draining soil and spaced a few inches apart. Seedlings will usually emerge within two to four weeks, depending on environmental conditions. Once the seedlings have grown and are strong enough, they can be transplanted to their final growing position where they will flourish and add vibrant color to the garden. It's important to note that while propagation from cuttings is possible, it is not as commonly practiced with Lupines due to their long taproots that make successful transplantation more challenging.