Herb: Yellow Lupin

Latin name: Lupinus luteus

Synonyms: Lupinus odoratus

Family: Leguminosae

Edible parts of Yellow Lupin:

Seed - cooked. Used as a protein-rich vegetable or savoury dish in any of the ways that cooked beans are used. The seed can also be ground into a powder and be mixed with cereal flours for making bread etc. If the seed is bitter this is due to the presence of toxic alkaloids and the seed should not be eaten without treatment. These alkaloids can usually be removed by soaking the seed in 2 or 3 changes of water. Low alkaloid varieties were developed prior to 1930 by Von Sengbusch. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute.

Description of the plant:


60 cm
(2 feet)

to July


Habitat of the herb:

Light acid soils.

Other uses of Yellow Lupin:

A good green manure for poor soils, it is quite fast growing and fixes atmospheric nitrogen. It is commonly grown as a soil improver in southern Europe.

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 Yellow Lupin:

Light acid soils.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Lupinus luteus:

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.