Herb: Blue Lupin

Latin name: Lupinus angustifolius

Family: Leguminosae

Edible parts of Blue Lupin:

Seed - cooked. Used as a protein-rich vegetable or savoury dish in any of the ways that cooked beans are used, they can also be roasted or ground into a powder. If the seed is bitter this is due to the presence of toxic alkaloids and the seed should be thoroughly leached before being cooked. The seeds of low-alkaloid varieties is used in making "tempeh". The seed is rich in protein, though it is deficient in the amino-acid methionine. The protein has a high digestibility (90%) and biological value(53%).

Description of the plant:


100 cm
(3 1/4 foot)

June to

Habitat of the herb:

Cultivated and rocky ground on light acid soils45, 50].

Other uses of Blue Lupin:

A good green manure plant, it produces a good bulk of organic matter and fixes atmospheric nitrogen. It also makes phosphorus in the soil more available to other plants.

Propagation of the herb:

Pre-soak the seed for 24 hours in warm water and sow in mid spring in situ. You may need to protect the seed from mice. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. The seed can also be sown in situ as late as early summer as a green manure crop.

Cultivation of Blue Lupin:

Cultivated and rocky ground on light acid soils45, 50].

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Lupinus angustifolius:

The seed of many lupin species contain bitter-tasting toxic alkaloids, though there are often sweet varieties within that species that are completely wholesome. Taste is a very clear indicator. These toxic alkaloids can be leeched out of the seed by soaking it overnight and discarding the soak water. It may also be necessary to change the water once during cooking. Fungal toxins also readily invade the crushed seed and can cause chronic illness.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.