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© S. Vanderhoeven
© S. Vanderhoeven
© S. Vanderhoeven
© S. Vanderhoeven
© M. Halford
© M. Halford
© M. Halford

Invaded site

© M. Halford
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Lupinus polyphyllus


Common name: Garden lupin
Origin: North America
Plant type: Herbaceous
Life cycle: Bisannual to perennial
Code of conduct: Annex II
Invasive status (ISEIA protocol): Watch list
Main ornemental function: Mixed border


Herb up to 30-150 cm tall. Bisannual or short perennial. Many flowered. Blue flowers. Pink and white flowers are also found. Palmate leaves


The species spread by seeds and rhizome. Seeds can be dispersed over long distances by vehicles, soil transport and other human activity. Cultivated and planted as ornamental. The plant has been sown intentionally for soil improvement.


Wet meadows and riparian zones, forest clearings. Pioneer species which colonises moderately moist and shaded sites, but also ruderal sites like abandonned meadows and road verges. Semi-natural habitats like poor acidic grassland and tall-herb vegetation are colonised by the plant. In Germany, several hectares of grasslands are invaded in the Rhon biosphere.


Species classified B2 in Belgium. Highly invasive in Northern Europe and Central Europe. Potentially invasive in Austria. Listed in the watch list in Switzerland. Potential negative impact on vegetation. In Germany, the plant is one of the 15 most widespread alient plants on acid to slightly acid soils. It replaces species-rich dry grassland with monospecific populations. The plant can alter chemical soil properties. N-fixing plant which catch atmospheric nitrogen and increase the N level in soils, favouring nitrogen-demanding species. Subsequent eutrophication of nutrient-poor sites and changes in plant community structure. However, strong invasion of semi-natural habitats is rarely reported in Western Europe. In Belgium, the species is present in different localities, but do not seem to colonise natural habitat. For more information about this species, click here


(1) Avoid planting this species near natural meadows, wet meadows, grasslands on acid soils, especially in the vicinity of protected areas (natural reserves, Natura 2000 sites, etc.) ; (2) cut the flowers at the end of flowering and before frustification in order to avoid seeds dispersal.

Possible native alternative

Main ornemental function

Mixed border

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