Thermopsis villosa
Common Name: Carolina lupine 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Fabaceae
Native Range: Southeastern United States
Zone: 4 to 9
Height: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: July
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Drought, Dry Soil

Noteworthy Characteristics

Thermopsis villosa, commonly called Carolina lupine, is an upright, clump-forming perennial which is native to the Carolinas and Georgia. Typically grows 3-4' (less frequently to 5') tall. Features erect, dense, terminal, spike-like racemes of yellow, lupine-like flowers which bloom in early summer. Compound, trifoliate, grayish-green foliage (oval leaflets to 3" long). Seed pods are villous (having long, shaggy hairs), hence the species name. Thermopsis is often commonly called false lupine because of its similarity to the true lupines. This species was formerly called and is sometimes still sold as Thermopsis caroliniana.

Genus name comes from the Greek words thermos meaning lupin and opsis meaning like as the flower heads resemble yellow lupins.

Specific epithet means covered with soft hairs.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Wildflower gardens, meadows, borders or cutting gardens.