What is lupin?

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What is lupin?

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Lupine or lupine is any species of the genus Lupinus, an annual or perennial herb or shrub in the legume family.

There are about 200 different types of lupins in the world. They are native to the Americas, North Africa,and the Mediterranean.

Today, they are found all over the world, except in the polar regions.

The term lupine, Latin for "wolf", comes from the mistaken belief that these plants deplete or" wolf " minerals from the soil. But, on the contrary, Lupine promotes soil fertility by fixing nitrogen from the air into the soil, making it useful for other plants.

Lupines were used by the early Egyptians and were known to Roman farmers for their ability to improve soil fertility. Lupine bean seeds, commonly called lupine beans, were also popular among the Romans.

Andean lupine was a widespread food item in the Inca Empire.

In the late 18th century, lupins were introduced to northern Europe as a means of improving soil quality, and by the 1860s, the garden yellow lupine was spotted on the sandy soils of the Baltic Coastal Plain.

In New Zealand, lupins have escaped into the wild and grow in large numbers along the main roads and streams of the South Island.

They are mostly herbaceous perennials between 0.3 and 1.5 m tall, but some are annuals and some are shrubs up to 3 m tall.The exception is Chamis de monte (Lupinus jaimehintoniana) from Mexico, which is a tree up to 8 m tall.

Most species have compact, straight peduncles, and through hybridization and breeding, ornamental varieties have been developed.

They have a characteristic and easily recognizable leaf shape: from soft green to gray-green or silvery leaves, usually palm-shaped divided into 5-17 leaflets or reduced to a single leaf .

The flowers grow in dense or open curls on an erect inflorescence, each flower 1-2 cm long. The fruit is a pod containing several seeds. They are widely cultivated both as a food source and as ornamental plants.

As a garden flower, lupine is a favorite because of its various flowers and tall inflorescences. Purple is the most common color, but there are also blue, yellow, pink, and white.

The lupine flower symbolizes happiness and fantasy.

Lupine beans are traditionally eaten as a pickled snack, mainly in the Mediterranean basin and Latin America.

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