Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Lupinus ornatus Dougl. ex Lindl.

Hardy perennial lupin, the flowers dark blue with a pink spot on the standards.  To 90cm.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Introduced to Britain in 1826.  [JD].  ‘Found by Mr. Douglas abundantly in mountain valleys, on the banks of the Spokan River, near Kettle Falls, on the river Columbia; and also near the chain of lakes of the last-mentioned stream, in gravelly or light dry soils.  It was observed in flower from June to August; and Mr. Douglas remarks that it is one of the finest of the tribe.  In this we quite agree.  Nothing can surpass the lovely azure blue of the flowers, or the silvery surface of the leaves.  A hardy perennial, flowering from May till the end of November; and in fact yielding to nothing but severe frost.  Our drawing was made in the Garden of the Horticultural Society, in which it had been raised from Mr. Douglas’s seeds, in 1827.’  [BR f.1216/1829].

History at Camden Park

Seed order to Hurst and McMullen, Seedsmen and Florists of London, on 8th April 1846.  [MP A2933-1, p.132]. 


Many hybrids are grown under a variety of names, known collectively as Lupinus hybridus Lem.  [Hortus].  The addition of ‘splendid’ after the name Lupinus ornatus is suggestive that Macarthur’s plant may be one of these.

Lupinus ornatus Newberry = Lupinus argenteus Agardh

Lupinus ornatus Torr. = Lupinus chamissonis Eschsch.

Lupinus ornatus Nutt. (1834) = Lupinus sericeus Cooper

Published Oct 03, 2009 - 04:22 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2010 - 12:28 PM

Figured is a lupin with palmate leaves, flowers dark blue with a pink spot on the standards.  Botanical Register f.1216, 1829.

Lupinus ornatus Dougl. Ex Lindl. | BR f.1216/1829 | BHL

Family Fabaceae
Region of origin

North America

Common Name


Name in the Camden Park Record

Lupinus ornatus (splendid) 

Confidence level medium