Everybody loves lupines. And most lupine species are American wildflowers. From coast to coast they are loved...the famous Pacific coast lupines, the Texas Bluebonnet, and the widespread Wild Blue Lupine of the eastern US.
But when it comes to hybrids, there is really only one group--the world-famous Russell Lupines. They were created by crossing several lupine species, most notably blue L. polyphyllus, a native of the Pacific Northwest. By careful hybridization and years of work, a man named George Russell in England perfected the multicolored strains in 1937, and they've been the standards ever since.
Growing Lupines These prized plants are not hard to grow, and in fact, many of the wild species are permanent features in wildflower meadows. They love sandy, loose soil, since they must develop a deep tap root before blooming. In some soils, that takes less than a year; in others (like clay) it can take several seasons.
One of my favorite perennial author/experts, Alan Armitage, says, "Flowers more perfect than those of the lupine hybrids are difficult to imagine."