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© Jon Mollivan
© Pierre Nordique
Lupinus polyphyllus - Garden lupin

French name:  Lupin vivace
Dutch name: Vaste lupine
Family: Fabaceae
Group: Vascular plants
Origin: North America
Habitat: terrestrial
Introduction:  agri- and horticulture
ISEIA Score : 10
Naturalization in Belgium
First observation in the wild: 1882
Invasion stage: spread
Spatial distribution: restricted
Reproduction in the wild: yes
Dispersion potential: medium
Natural habitats: likely
More on invasiveness: This pioneer and ruderal species prefers moderately moist and shaded sites, with a nutrient-poor sandy or loamy soil. It is found in riparian habitats, abandoned grasslands, forest clearings, clearcut areas and road verges. Semi-natural habitats like poor acidic grassland and tall-herb vegetation are colonised by the plant in Germany and other central European countries. However, strong invasion of semi-natural habitats has been rarely reported so far in Western Europe. Seeds are dispersed in the immediate vicinity of the mother plant but may travel long distances with soil movements.
Distribution in Belgium
Established populations
absent from district
isolated populations (1-5 localities per district)
widespread (>5 localities per district)
Endangered areas
low risk
medium risk
high risk

Endangered Natura 2000 habitats ():
grasslands: 6230*6410643065106520
Impacts on Species
Predation / Herbivory: low
Competition: high
Disease transmission: low
Genetic effects: low
Impacts on Ecosystems
Nutrient cycling: high
Physical alteration: likely
Natural successions: likely
Food web alteration: low
More on impacts: L. polyphyllus may occur in extensive, rather dense stands. It reduces the diversity of early successional plant communities, but has little effect on later successional stages. In Central Europe, the plant replaces species-rich dry acidic grasslands with monocultures. Due to the nitrogen-fixing nodules it may change the soil chemistry in favour of nitrogen-demanding species; eutrophication of nutrient-poor sites and consequent changes in community structure and diversity is the main problem when it invades an area.
Data Source & References
Authors: Branquart Etienne, Vanderhoeven Sonia, Van Landuyt Wouter, Van Rossum Fabienne, Verloove Filip
Published on:  04 December 2007
Last update:  18 March 2020
AEF (2006)
Cartes provisoires de la distribution de néophytes en Wallonie.
Unpublished document.
CPS-SKEW (2006)
Lupinus polyphyllus.
From online fact sheets of the Swiss Commission for Wild Plants Conservation.
Fremstad, E. (2006)
Invasive Alien Species Fact Sheet: Lupinus polyphyllus.
From: Online Database of the North European and Baltic Network on Invasive Alien Species (NOBANIS).
Lambinon, J., Delvosalle, L. & Duvigneaud, J. (2004)
Nouvelle fore de la Belgique, du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg, du Nord de la France et des régions voisines.
Editions du Patrimoine du Jardin botanique national de Belgique, Meise.
Ramula, S. & Pihlaja, K. (2012)
Plant communities and the reproductive success of native plants after the invasion of an ornamental herb.
Biological Invasions (in press)
Starfinger U. & Kowarik I. (2007)
Lupinus polyphyllus.
From online Neoflora database, Invasive gebietsfremde Pflanzen in Deutschland (Floraweb).
Thiele, J., Isermann, M., Otte, A. & Kollmann, J. (2010)
Competitive displacement or biotic resistance? Disentangling relationships between community diversity and invasion success of tall herbs and shrubs.
Journal of Vegetation Science 21: 213-220.
Valtonen, A, Jantunen, J. & Saarinen, K. (2006)
Flora and lepidoptera fauna adversely affected by invasive Lupinus polyphyllus along road verges.
Biological Conservation 133: 389-396.
Van Landuyt, W., Hoste, I., Vanhecke, L., Van den Bremt, P. Vercruysse, W. & De Beer, D. (2006)
Atlas van de Flora van Vlaanderen en het Brussels gewest.
Nationale Plantentuin en het Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek i.s.m. Flo.Wer vzw.
Verloove, F. (2006)
Catalogue of the Neophytes in Belgium (1800-2005).
Scripta Botanica Belgica 39, 89 pp.
Wittenberg, R. (2005)
An inventory of alien species and their threat to biodiversity and economy in Switzerland.
CABI Bioscience Switzerland Centre report to the Swiss Agency for Environment, Forests and Landscape. The environment in practice no. 0629: 155p.
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