Tabor, Paul Soil Conservation Service, Athens, Georgia.
- Additional Readings
A cool season legume of the genus Lupinus with an upright stem, leaves divided into several digitate leaflets, and terminal racemes of pea-shaped blossoms. Three lupine species—yellow, white, and blue (see illustration), each named for the color of its blossoms—are cultivated as field crops; several hybrids are grown as ornamentals; and many species occur as wild plants. The yellow crop varieties are usually the earliest and smallest, whereas the white varieties are the latest and largest. Field crop lupines (or lupins) have been grown in Europe since early Roman times as a soil-improving crop. The older varieties could not be used as forage because the plants contained a bitter, water-soluble, toxic alkaloid. However, since the early 1900s, plant breeders have developed “sweet” varieties that have only traces of alkaloid. See also: Alkaloid; Breeding (plant); Fabales; Legume; Legume forages
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