Flowering from June to August, this is one of the most beautiful early-summer perennials, with trifoliate leaves and erect, lupin-like racemes of rich violet-blue pea-like flowers, followed by conspicuous inflated pods. They do best in deep, well-drained, preferably neutral to acidic soil and are soundly hardy and perennial.
For best results, sow seeds immediately onto a good soil-based compost. Cover the seeds with fine grit or compost to approximately their own depth. They can be sown at any time, and germination can sometimes be quicker if kept at 15 to 20 degrees C. However, we sow most seeds in an unheated greenhouse and wait for natural germination as many seeds have built-in dormancy mechanisms, and often wait for spring before emerging regardless of when they are sown. But spring sowing will obviously give them a full season of growth if successful germination occurs.