Huge spikes of densely packed flowers in a rainbow of colors.
From the Texas Bluebonnet to scores of others, we have wild lupine species all over North America. They're all beautiful, but not until a certain Englishman named George Russell went to work and created the world-famous "Russell Lupine" hybrids did they become garden favorites. Now, instead of just blue (and a few yellow) native flowers, we have reds, whites, purples and endless bi-colors, thanks to Russell's work. And since his time, other hybridizers have "improved" them further. For example, the top favorites today are all shorter than the originals, which were quite tall. A gardener favorite is the famous group of "Gallery Lupines," which have the color range of the Russells, but on shorter plants. No perennial garden should be without lupines and their spectacular spikes of late spring flowers, plus distinctive "palm shaped" foliage.