Lupinus arboreus

Tree lupin

Family: Fabaceae

Origin: California

Tree Lupin shrubs growing on a bank.
A perennial shrub that can grow up to 3m tall. Tree lupin leaves are grey green in colour and have silky undersides.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • Whole region — Sustained control
  • Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest

View more about the RPMP statuses

General description

Perennial shrub < 3 m tall. Leaves are grey-green with silky undersides. Flowers are yellow, pea-like, < 18 mm long and borne in inflorescences < 30 cm long in October – May. Seed pods are < 8 cm long.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment, from 1 September 2021, you:

  • will not be allowed to breed, distribute, release or sell tree lupin within the Auckland region.
  • will not be allowed to plant tree lupin within the Auckland region, unless you are transferring an existing plant on your land to another location within the boundaries of the same property.
  • must destroy any tree lupin on land that you occupy if it has been planted in breach of the above rules and you are directed to do so by an authorised person.


Open and well-drained habitat, coastal areas, sand dunes, riverbeds, wasteland, cliffs.


Seeds dispersed by explosive dehiscence, water, soil movement.

Impact on environment

Alters dune plant community composition and reduces native plant abundances. Nitrogen fixer. May alter nutrient cycling and facilitate establishment and seed set of exotic plants.


Site Management

Follow up treated areas 3 times per year. Encourage natural regeneration of native plants or replant treated areas where possible after 2-3 treatments to establish dense ground cover and minimise reinvasion.

Recommended approaches

Physical control

Method: Dig out.

Plant parts requiring disposal: Seeds.

Disposal options: Remove to greenwaste or landfill if practical.


Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

No qualifications: Cut stump and paste freshly cut base of stems with double strength glyphosate gel. Cut stump and spray freshly cut base with 200ml glyphosate green per 1L of water.

Certified Handler/Experienced agrichemical user: Foliar spray with 100ml glyphosate green per 10L of water and 20ml penetrant.

Caution: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Close up of Tree Lupin flowers.
Tree lupin produces long inflorescences of yellow pea-like flowers. Roots can fix nitrogen in the soil enabling them able to survive in poor soil conditions.
Photo credit: Jonathan Boow