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Carolina False Lupine Thermopsis villosa

Previously known as:

  • Thermopsis caroliniana
Phonetic Spelling
ther-MOP-sis vil-OH-sah
Description

The tall spikes of Southern Lupine's bright yellow flowers are a beautiful sight in spring. Although native to the mountains of North Carolina and Georgia, these clump-forming plants perform beautifully in the Piedmont and coastal plain, where true Lupines don't grow well because of the heat. Cut the foliage back about a month after flowering and it may bloom again in fall.

Plant in average moist well-drained soil in full to partial sun. Avoid crowding this plant to prevent fungal disease and water during a drought. It adds bright spring color to the back of the border.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#full sun tolerant#perennials#summer flowers#native garden#spring interest#native wildflower#wildflower garden#larval host plant#food source summer#food source herbage#bird friendly#butterfly friendly#bee friendly#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#full sun tolerant#perennials#summer flowers#native garden#spring interest#native wildflower#wildflower garden#larval host plant#food source summer#food source herbage#bird friendly#butterfly friendly#bee friendly#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Thermopsis
    Species:
    villosa
    Family:
    Fabaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southeastern United States
    Distribution:
    AL , CT , GA , MA , ME , NC , NH , NJ , NY , PA , TN , VA , VT , WV
    Wildlife Value:
    Host for butterfly larvae.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 5 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Seed pods have long shaggy hairs and slit open when dry. Displays from July to September
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Lipped
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Yellow to cream-colored sweet-pea-like flowers in crowded, long and narrow erect clusters 4-18 inches long. Blooms from May to June.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Velvety
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are gray-green and trifoliate with three oval leaflets in each leaf. Leaflets are 2-3” long with hairy lower surfaces. There are large leafy stipules at the base of the leaf stalk.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Cutting Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border