So, in sum, a pretty hands-off winter for this gardener, but by way of update on the strange lupine from my pre-Christmas post: it isn't presently blooming, but I'd say it's healthier than ever. As I'd mentioned, I can't think of what it would be other than Lupinus succulentus, because that was introduced in the yard in the form of a wildflower seed packet years ago. I'm not one to whip out a Jepson Manual (I don't even have one) and key out plants, but the lupine fits the general description of L. succulentus, except for its persistence through the seasons, so I think it is simply The Annual that Wouldn't Die.
Also, it now has a lovely large family! Here's a seedling that volunteered in a cell pack of assorted cuttings.
And here's one that volunteered in a patio pot.
I think it'll look nice in a pot, too. In addition, when I had to cut the big mama plant back from the footpath, I took about 10 cuttings of it, a couple of which keeled, three of which are still unrooted, and five of which struck roots and have already been planted out. I put the cuttings in cell packs, and I don't think it's customary to plant out into the yard straight from cell packs, but I've always heard that lupines don't like having their roots messed with, so I opted to skip the intermediate step of potting up to a 4". Here's one of the unrooted cell pack cuttings still at home after his siblings have headed off to college.
The cuttings that rooted took about two months. Which is another weird thing about the lupine being an annual, because I don't think of cuttings as a thing you do with annuals. Do gardeners out there reproduce annual species via cuttings? Maybe it only works if they are weird, immortal annuals like this one...
I do think the plant is lovely. Here it is in my little former-lawn area where it volunteered--it's that bushy thing behind the grasses.
The comment on my previous post mentioned lupines being tricky to grow, and except in the case of this one, I agree. My L. arboreus on the patio keeled (too hot), and my L. albifrons on the hill keeled (reason unknown).
And last year I did try one other, Lupinus latifolius ssp. parishii, but all four specimens got eaten--by snails, I think. I desperately wanted that plant, because it is a shade-tolerant lupine. L. latifolius, which is local to the area but sparse, is apparently not found in the nursery trade, so I went with the subspecies. (If any local nurserypersons are reading, please propagate some L. latifolius!)
Lisa and Robb, I'm pretty confident my giant lupine and its family will bloom again, so if you want, I can collect some seeds; when they're ready I could let you know and you could send an address to send them. Free, of course!
In closing, here's a picture of the boss-man supervising me as I took the photos today. By the look on his face, I don't think he's impressed with my work.