© RHS / Graham Titchmarsh

Introducing...

Tree lupins

Botanical name: Lupinus arboreus

Common name: tree lupin

Tree lupins are usually short-lived but fast-growing woody plants with silky-textured, grey-green, usually evergreen leaves and typical lupin flowers. You can combine them with other sun-loving shrubs, such as lavender, rosemary and cistus.

They grow well in gravel gardens and are good for coastal situations where they are able to cope with the salty air and windy conditions  .

Looks

Tree lupins are bushy plants with woody stems topped by spikes of fragrant, creamy-yellow (or sometimes blue or white) flowers in late spring and summer. They usually keep their leaves over winter.  

Likes

These woody lupins are happy in light, sandy soils that drain easily, preferably with slightly acidic conditions. They also like full sun.

Dislikes

They hate heavy, wet soils, and growth may be poor on chalky (alkaline) soils. They do not fare well in shade.

Did you know?

Although commonly known as tree lupins these plants are actually shrubby in character and make rounded plants up to about 2m (6⅔ft) tall and wide.

Growing guide

Tree lupins we recommend

Buy lupins from RHSplants.co.uk

Every purchase supports the work of the RHS

Useful advice

Drought-resistant gardening

Drought-resistant gardening

Front gardens: design inspiration

Front gardens: design inspiration

Gravel gardens

Gravel gardens

Plants for coastal areas

Plants for coastal areas

Shrubs: evergreen by size

Shrubs: evergreen by size

Shrubs: evergreen for specific situations

Shrubs: evergreen for specific situations

Trees and shrubs: establishment problems

Trees and shrubs: establishment problems

Trees and shrubs: planting

Trees and shrubs: planting

Other plants you may like

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.