Carolina lupines are native American wildflowers originally from North Carolina and Georgia. They closely resemble Baptisia sphaerocarpa; both are members of the pea family. The genus is Greek for "resembling a lupine."

Description of Carolina lupine, Aaron's rod: Leaves have 3 leaflets on stems growing to 5 feet and bear spikes of yellow, pealike flowers in late June and July, followed by small pods resembling small string beans that are covered with short hairs. Ease of care: Easy.

: Plants grow in almost any good, well-drained soil in full sun. Without full sun, the stems will lean to the light and then flop over. In rich soil, plants will be very tall and need staking. New plants take a few years to form sizable clumps. If given adequate moisture just before flowering begins, plants are very drought-resistant.

: By division in early spring or by seed.

: The spikes of yellow flowers are very attractive against a dark background, so keep them at the back of the border, especially in front of bushes or shrubbery. They bloom at a time of the garden year when yellows are mostly absent. The light green leaves remain attractive until frost.

elated species: Thermopsis montana grows to 2 feet.

Scientific name of Carolina lupine, Aaron's rod: Thermopsis caroliniana

Want more gardening information? Try: