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Lupinus, commonly known as lupin or lupine (North America), is a genus of flowering plants in the legume family, Fabaceae. The genus includes over 200 species, with centers of diversity in North and South America. Smaller centers occur in North Africa and the Mediterranean.
The species are mostly herbaceous perennial plants 0.3–1.5 m (0.98–4.92 ft) tall, but some are annual plants and a few are shrubs up to 3 m (9.8 ft) tall. An exception is the chamis de monte (Lupinus jaimehintoniana) of Oaxaca in Mexico, which is a tree up to 8 m (26 ft) tall. Lupins have soft green to grey-green leaves which may be coated in silvery hairs, often densely so. The leaf blades are usually palmately divided into five to 28 leaflets, or reduced to a single leaflet in a few species of the southeastern United States. The flowers are produced in dense or open whorls on an erect spike, each flower 1–2 cm long. The pea-like flowers have an upper standard, or banner, two lateral wings, and two lower petals fused into a keel. The flower shape has inspired common names such as bluebonnets and quaker bonnets. The fruit is a pod containing several seeds.
Australian Sweet Lupins (Lupinus angustifolius) are high in protein, dietary fibre and antioxidants, very low in starch, and are gluten-free. Lupins can be used to make a variety of foods both sweet and savoury including everyday meals, traditional fermented foods, baked foods and sauces.
Lupin beans are commonly sold in a salty solution in jars (like olives and pickles) and can be eaten with or without the skin. Lupini dishes are most commonly found in Europe, especially in Portugal, Egypt, Greece, and Italy, and also in Brazil. In Portugal, Spain, and Spanish Harlem, they are popularly consumed with beer. In Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Israel and Palestine, salty and chilled lupini beans are called termos and are served as part of an apéritif or a snack. The Andean lupin or tarwi (L. mutabilis) was a widespread food in the Incan Empire. Other species, such as L. albus (white lupin), L. angustifolius (narrow-leafed lupin), and L. hirsutus (blue lupin) also have edible seeds. Lupins were also used by many Native American peoples such as the Yavapai in North America. Lupins are known as altramuz in Spain and Argentina. The seeds are used for different foods, from vegan sausages to lupin-tofu or baking-enhancing lupin flour.
- One of the highest sources of plant proteins available (40%), roughly 4 times higher than whole grain wheat;
- Easily digestible with high bio-availability of essential nutrients and minerals;
- One of the highest sources of dietary fibre (36%);
- High in essential amino acids, cholesterol free and contain negligible amounts of trypsin inhibitors (known to interfere with digestion) often found in other legumes;
- Very low in lectins and saponins (two known gastric irritants),
- the latter of which afflicts the soybean even after extensive baking and processing;
- Convenient, healthy and don’t require heat or chemical treatment;
- Are probiotic promoting the growth of good bacteria;
- Are very high sources of essential amino acids and;
- Gluten free and non GM.
Studies have revealed that Australian Sweet Lupins:
- Suppress appetite;
- Reduce the glycaemic load of carbohydrate based foods;
- Reduce blood pressure;
- Improve glucose metabolism (diabetes);
- Improve bowel health.
Use of Australian Sweet Lupin in Foods
Australian Sweet Lupins (Lupinus angustifolius) are high in protein, dietary fibre and antioxidants, very low in starch and are gluten and GMO - free. Lupins can be used to make a variety of foods both sweet and savoury including everyday meals, traditional fermented foods, baked foods and sauces.
Whilst originally cultivated as a green manure or forage, lupins are increasingly grown for their seeds, which can be used as an alternative to soybeans. Sweet (low alkaloid) lupins are highly regarded as a stock feed, particularly for ruminants but also for pigs and poultry and more recently as an ingredient in aqua-feeds. The market for lupin seeds for human food is currently small, but researchers believe it has great potential. Lupin seeds are considered "superior" to soybeans in certain applications and there is increasing evidence for their potential health benefits. They contain similar protein to soybean but less fat. As a food source, they are gluten-free and high in dietary fiber, amino acids, and antioxidants, and they are considered to be prebiotic. About 85% of the world's lupin seeds are grown in Western Australia.
Like other legumes, they can fix nitrogen from the atmosphere into ammonia via a rhizobium-root nodule symbiosis, fertilizing the soil for other plants. This adaption allows lupins to be tolerant of infertile soils and capable of pioneering change in barren and poor-quality soils. The genus Lupinus is nodulated by Bradyrhizobium soil bacteria.
Lupins are popular ornamental plants in gardens. Numerous hybrids and cultivars are available. Some species, such as garden lupin (L. polyphyllus) and hybrids like the rainbow lupin (L. × regalis) are common garden flowers. Lupins can be good companion plants in gardens, increasing the soil nitrogen for vegetables and other plants.
Certain species, such as the yellow bush lupin (L. arboreus), are considered invasive weeds when they appear outside their native ranges. In New Zealand, L. polyphyllus has escaped into the wild and grows in large numbers along main roads and streams on the South Island. A similar spread of the species has occurred in Finland after the non-native species was first deliberately planted in the landscaping along the main roads. Lupins have been planted in some parts of Australia with a considerably cooler climate, particularly in rural Victoria and New South Wales.
- Aricia icarioides missionensis (Mission blue butterfly), larvae limited to Lupinus
- Callophrys irus (Frosted Elfin), recorded on L. perennis
- Erynnis persius (Persius Duskywing)
- Glaucopsyche xerces (Xerces Blue) - extinct
- Glaucopsyche lygdamus (Silvery Blue)
- Plebejus melissa samuelis (Karner Blue)
- Schinia sueta, larvae limited to Lupinus
Toxicity and allergenicity
Lupins contain some amounts of certain secondary compounds, including isoflavones and alkaloids such as lupinine and sparteine which is removed through processing. Early detection means that lupins that contain these elements are not selected for food grade products.
Cross-allergenicity of peanut and lupine: the risk of lupine allergy in patients allergic to peanuts.]  Most lupin reactions reported have been in people with peanut allergy. As of 2006 the European Commission requires food labels to indicate the presence of "lupin and products thereof" in food.
The taxonomy of this genus has always been confusing. It is not clear how many distinct species there are or how they might be organized within the genus. The plants are variable and the taxa are not always distinct from one another. Some American taxa have been described as complexes rather than separate species. Estimates of the number of lupine species generally fall between 200 and 500. One authority places the estimate at approximately 267 species worldwide.
Watson (1873) originally divided the genus Lupinus into three sections, Platycarpos, Lupinus, and Lupinellus, based on habitat and the number of ovules. Most of the species found in the Americas were assigned to Lupinus. Platycarpos consisted of some annuals with two ovules and two seeds (e.g., L. densiflorus, L. micricarpus), while Lupinellus had only one species (L. uncialis).
While Watson's work was predominantly based on study of North American species, the later research of Ascherson and Graebner (1907) was more global. They described two subgenera, Eulupinus and Platycarpos, using similar criteria. Most species fell into the subgenus Eulupinus, while Platycarpos included the annual species from the Eastern Hemisphere in Watson's classification.
A current schema retains this distinction, but uses the nomenclature for the subgenera of Platycarpos and Lupinus. In this schema, subgenus Platycarpos (S.Wats.) Kurl. contains perennial and annual species from the Western Hemisphere, with a minimum two or more ovules or seedbuds. Subgenus Lupinus consists of 12 species from Africa and the Mediterranean, with a minimum of 4 ovules or seedbuds.
- Lupinus adsurgens – Drew's silky lupine
- Lupinus affinis – fleshy lupine
- Lupinus albicaulis – sickle-keel lupine
- Lupinus albifrons – silver bush lupine
- Lupinus × alpestris
- Lupinus andersonii – Anderson's lupine
- Lupinus angustiflorus – narrowflower lupine
- Lupinus antoninus – Anthony Peak lupine
- Lupinus arboreus – yellow bush lupin, tree lupine
- Lupinus arbustus – longspur lupine
- Lupinus arcticus – Arctic lupine
- Lupinus argenteus – silvery lupine
- Lupinus argenteus var. palmeri
- Lupinus aridorum – scrub lupine
- Lupinus arizonicus – Arizona lupine
- Lupinus benthamii
- Lupinus bicolor – miniature lupine, bicolor lupine, Lindley's annual lupine
- Lupinus bingenensis – Bingen lupine
- Lupinus brevicaulis – shortstem lupine
- Lupinus breweri – Brewer's lupine
- Lupinus burkei – Burke's lupine
- Lupinus caespitosus – stemless dwarf lupine
- Lupinus caudatus – Kellogg's spurred lupine
- Lupinus cervinus Kellogg – Santa Lucia lupine (syn. L. latissimus)
- Lupinus chamissonis – Chamisso bush lupine
- Lupinus citrinus – orange lupine
- Lupinus concinnus
- Lupinus constancei – The Lassics lupine
- Lupinus covillei – shaggy lupine
- Lupinus croceus – saffron-flowered lupine
- Lupinus dalesiae – Quincy lupine
- Lupinus densiflorus
- Lupinus duranii – Mono Lake lupine
- Lupinus diffusus – spreading lupine, Oak Ridge lupine, sky-blue lupine
- Lupinus elatus – tall silky lupine
- Lupinus elegans – elegant lupine
- Lupinus elmeri – Elmer's lupine
- Lupinus excubitus – grape soda lupine
- Lupinus flavoculatus
- Lupinus foliolosus
- Lupinus formosus – summer lupine
- Lupinus grayi – Sierra lupine
- Lupinus guadalupensis – Guadalupe Island lupine
- Lupinus havardii
- Lupinus hirsutissimus – stinging lupine
- Lupinus holmgrenianus – Holmgren's lupine
- Lupinus hyacinthinus – San Jacinto lupine
- Lupinus incanus – hoary lupine
- Lupinus jaimehintoniana
- Lupinus kuntii
- Lupinus kuschei – Yukon lupin
- Lupinus lapidicola ; Mt. Eddy lupine
- Lupinus latifolius – broadleaf lupine
- Lupinus lepidus – prairie lupine
- Lupinus leucophyllus – woolly-leaf lupine
- Lupinus littoralis – seashore lupine
- Lupinus longifolius – longleaf bush lupine
- Lupinus luteolus – butter lupine, pale yellow lupine
- Lupinus lyallii – Lyall's lupine
- Lupinus macbrideanus
- Lupinus michelianus
- Lupinus microcarpus – wide-bannered lupin, chick lupin
- Lupinus microcarpus var. densiflorus – dense-flowered lupin
- Lupinus mutabilis – Andean lupin, pearl lupin, South American lupin, tarwi, tarhui, chocho
- Lupinus nanus – dwarf lupin, field lupin, sky lupin, Douglas' annual lupin
- Lupinus nevadensis – Nevada lupine
- Lupinus nipomensis – Nipomo Mesa lupine
- Lupinus niveus
- Lupinus nootkatensis – Nootka lupin
- Lupinus nubigenus
- Lupinus obtusilobus – bluntlobe lupine
- Lupinus odoratus – royal Mojave lupin
- Lupinus onustus – Plumas lupine
- Lupinus oreganus – Oregon lupin
- Lupinus padre-crowleyi – DeDecker's lupine, Father Crowley's lupine
- Lupinus parviflorus – lodgepole lupin
- Lupinus peirsonii – Peirson's lupine, long lupine
- Lupinus perennis – wild perennial lupin, sundial lupin, Indian beet, old maid's bonnets
- Lupinus plattensis
- Lupinus polycarpus – smallflower lupin
- Lupinus polyphyllus – largeleaf lupin, bigleaf lupin, garden lupin
- Lupinus pratensis – Inyo Meadow lupine
- Lupinus prunophilus – hairy bigleaf lupin
- Lupinus pubescens
- Lupinus pusillus – small lupin
- Lupinus × regalis – rainbow lupin
- Lupinus rivularis – riverbank lupin
- Lupinus rupestris
- Lupinus saxosus – rock lupine
- Lupinus sericatus – Cobb Mountain lupine
- Lupinus sericeus – Pursh's silky lupin
- Lupinus shockleyi – purple desert lupine
- Lupinus smithianus
- Lupinus sparsiflorus – desert lupin, Coulter's lupin, Mojave lupin
- Lupinus spectabilis – shaggyhair lupine
- Lupinus stiversii – harlequin annual lupine
- Lupinus subcarnosus – buffalo clover
- Lupinus succulentus – succulent lupin, arroyo lupin, hollowleaf annual lupin
- Lupinus sulphureus – sulphur lupin, sulphur-flowered lupin
- Lupinus texensis – Texas bluebonnet
- Lupinus tidestromii – Tidestrøm's lupin
- Lupinus toratensis – warwanzo, lito
- Lupinus tracyi – Tracy's lupine
- Lupinus truncatus – collared annual lupine
- Lupinus vallicola – open lupin
- Lupinus variicolor – varied lupin
- Lupinus villosus
- Lupinus wyethii – Wyeth's lupin
- Lupinus albus L. 1753 – white lupine (subgenus type species)
- Lupinus angustifolius L. 1753 – blue lupin, narrow-leafed lupin
- Lupinus atlanticus Gladstones, 1974
- Lupinus cosentinii Guss. 1828 ; sandplain lupin
- Lupinus digitatus Forsk. 1775
- Lupinus hispanicus Boiss. et Reut. 1842
- Lupinus luteus L. 1753 – yellow lupin
- Lupinus micranthus Guss. 1828
- Lupinus palaestinus Boiss. 1849 – white-grey lupine
- Lupinus pilosus Murr. 1774 – blue lupine
- Lupinus princei Harms, 1901
- Lupinus somaliensis Baker, 1895
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