Lupines, (otherwise known as Bluebonnets and Quaker Bonnets), are a genus of the Fabaceae family.
The hood shaped flowers are vary between 1-2 cm long and are attached to a central stem. The lupine flowers are similar to pea flowers in that they have one upper petal and two lateral petals fused as a ‘keel’.
Lupines are a good companion of other plants and vegetables that thrive on nitrogen because they gather the gas from the atmosphere and disperse it into the soil through the roots.
In the wholesale flower markets lupines are available as a cut flower for a couple of months a year. They are sold in wraps of 10 stems and are usually no taller than 70/80cm. The vase life of cut lupins is very short and if included in wedding flowers should only be relied on for the wedding day. Our advice - don't use them!
General Availability Chart
Lupines are a hollow stemmed flower, (just like delphinium and amaryliss), and have to be conditioned in a specific way for best results:
- Cut the stems at a 45 degree angle with a sharp knife.
- Remove the lower foliage.
- Fill sterilised buckets with luke warm water & add flower food.
- Turn the lupines upside down & fill the hollow stems with luke warm water.
- Hold your thumb over the end of the stem to stop the water from escaping.
- Turn the lupines over & plungle into the bucket of water.
- Leave to condition over night before arranging.
Never leave cut flowers in direct sun light, near a radiator, in a draft or near fruit. (The gas used to ripen fruit will harm most flowers). Keep the lupines in a cool place and always keep out of the way of children.