Lupinus is a large genus of around 626 accepted species of mostly annuals and perennials, and occasionally shrubs. Their tall spires of upright colourful flowers in summer make them an attractive addition to mixed flower beds and borders, adding height and structure to a display. Horticultural varieties have long been extensively bred to produce a wide range of flower colours and patterns to suit every garden. Commonly known as Lupins, they are characterised by their soft grey-green; usually, deeply divided leaves and dense whorls of pea-like flowers held on erect spikes. Relatively low maintenance, this plant, is perfect for full sun locations whose soil is not that fertile. Lupinus may need additional staking if grown in an exposed area. Cutting the spent flower stems back to the ground can encourage a second flower spike to form for a staggered summer display. Part of the Fabaceae (Fabaceae) family, Lupinus plants are native to the Americas, North Africa, and the Mediterranean. They are legumes and as such are widely cultivated as forage crops and green manure, fixing nitrogen into the soil for later crops. Increasingly they are being grown for their seeds and used as an alternative to soybeans.