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Garden Lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus), fam. Fabaceae.
An ornamental perennial plant with easily recognized palmate leaves and pink, blue or white inflorescences-candles (with no smell).
Lupine is an interesting member of the legume (bean) family, famous for its high rate of enriching the soil with nitrogen, owing to symbiosis with bacteria. The lupine seeds are rich in protein and fat, similar to soybeans. This explains why bith seeds and green parts of lupine could be valuable fodder for cattle; unfortunately, it is usually impossible due to toxic alkaloids it contains – that is why, maybe, the plant was called "wolf's beans" (lupus = wolf). So, only few cultivars are available as fodder – those which are low in alkaloids. The plant's name may also derive from its "wolf-like" endurance, unpretentiousness, agressive acquisition of land. American Garden Lupine has become a weed in some places, and needs to be eradicated.