Lupine Flower

Last updated on May 21st, 2023 at 06:49 pm

Also considered wildflowers, lupines are beautiful flowers that are spiky. These flowers belong to the Lupinus genus of the pea family or Fabaceae and are herbaceous. There are over 200 species of the lupine flower. The parent species of the lupine flower are native to North America. These hardy flowering plants are now cultivated across North America, the Mediterranean, and other European regions. 

Most contemporary varieties of the lupine flower available today were developed by a horticulturist, George Russell, in the early 1900s. The varieties developed by Russell are popularly propagated and cultivated today. His varieties became popular for their bright, vibrant colors and densely packed flowers.

Lupines can be annuals or perennials, based on the region they are planted in. When a whole patch of lupine flowers blooms, they are showstoppers, thanks to tall spikes of bushy flowers in many colors. They are easy to grow from seed, even in hot regions.

Lupine means wolfish and comes from the Latin word “Lupus” or wolf. The lupine plant plays a very important role in a habitat. Lupines not only grow fast, but they add nutrients and other essential vitamins back into the soil of any ecology. 

Lupines play a very important role in the regeneration of a forest. Lupine plants are poisonous and should not be mistaken for peas. Lupine flower meanings and symbolism are many in different countries.

What does the Lupine flower symbolize?

The lupine flower’s meaning dates back to the 14th century, coming from the Latin word for wolf, ‘Lupus.’ It was originally believed that the lupine flower plant did not allow other plants to grow near it. When it was discovered, it was found to be growing alone. 

Botanists believed that the lupine plants sapped the soil of all its nutrients and goodness, thereby preventing other plants from growing and thriving. The poor quality of the soil around the plants led people to wrongly assume that lupines would only thrive alone in such conditions. Hence, the name lupine symbolizes the hungry and voracious appetite of wolves!

The lupine flower, associated with the wolf, symbolizes a great appetite or hunger for life and love. It symbolizes a wolf’s strength and loyalty to its pack or family.

The beautiful blooms also symbolize the lupine flower’s meanings of adoration or admiration, happiness, and creative imagination. They symbolize new opportunities, renewal, a positive outlook, and growth.

Apart from its association with the wolf, lupine flowers are said to embody the mythical beauty and grace of the goddesses Venus and Aphrodite.

Culturally, the lupine flower meaning of imagination comes from the enlightened writings of the Romans. Pliny wrote about the uses of lupines as a food article that can contribute to the cheerfulness of mind and freshness of complexion. Hippocrates, the Greek physician, described lupines as a food item along with peas, lentils, and beans. This is significant for the use of lupines today as food items.

Biblically, the lupine flower symbolizes one’s mortality. It reminds us of the fleeting nature of one’s wealth and power.

All in all, the lupine flower symbolic meanings are:

  • voraciousness
  • self-sacrifice
  • forgiveness
  • abundance
  • growth
  • change
  • imagination
  • admiration
  • overall happiness

Meaning of the Lupine flower colors

Blue color

Flora, Lupins, Nature, Lupine, Purple, Green, Blossom

Blue lupine flowers symbolize sensitivity to feelings and emotions. It also describes sorrowful feelings and empathy for those who need it. They represent a deep understanding and acceptance of those undergoing emotional difficulties.

Purple color

Flowers, Field, Spring, Lavender, Nature, Summer

Purple lupine flowers are a symbol of noble grace and royalty. They also stand for determination, loyalty, and generosity of spirit. They convey the kindness of one’s heart.

Red color

Lupine, Flower, Red, Flora, Nature

Red lupines symbolize passion, admiration or adoration, and endurance. These flowers describe people with brave hearts and determination as they represent the courage and determination embodied by brave and resolute individuals.

Pink color

Flora, Plants, Lupine, Pink, Garden, Summer

Pink lupine flowers symbolize our cherished memories of near and dear ones who have moved on. These flowers stand for the precious and unforgettable memories of times past of loved ones.

Yellow color

Lupine, Yellow, Blossom, Bloom, Lupinus, Wolf Bean

Yellow lupines signify a willingness to take on new challenges when they appear. These flowers represent people with adventurous spirits, a never-say-never attitude, and those who are always open to new experiences and challenges. Its symbolism signifies a struggle to survive and uncertainty in voyages.

White color

Lupine, Wolf Bob, Lupins, Field, Forest, Sun, Summer

White lupine flowers represent purity, forgiveness, self-sacrifice, and a deep sense of compassion for others. They symbolize selflessness and our sacrifices for our loved ones and fellow human beings.

Interesting facts about the Lupine flowers

  • The most popular variety of the lupine flower is the bluebonnet. It is the sturdiest of all lupin flower varieties. The bluebonnet holds the distinction of being the state flower of Texas since 1901.
  • Apart from fixing nitrogen in the soil for the benefit of other plants, lupines are also edible. 
  • Some varieties, especially those growing in the wild, are toxic to animals and humans.
  • Lupine seeds have been used as food for over 3000 years by the early Egyptians and Mediterranean people and for over 6000 years by pre-Incan people in the Andes. 
  • They are an excellent source of protein comparable to soy. They are low in fat, high in fiber, amino acids, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and prebiotics, and are gluten-free! 
  • Food-grade processed lupine seeds are stripped of the toxic components of lupinine and sparteine, rendering them safe for consumption.
  • The seeds must be cooked as they cannot be eaten raw. They have a slightly bitter taste. Despite efforts to sweeten the seeds through breeding, most notably in Australia, they retain some bitterness and have not been widely adopted as a popular food item. Australia grows about 85% of the world’s lupine seeds! 
  • Lupine seeds are used in cooking as flour or cooking oil and as appetizers or snacks, roasted and salted like peanuts.
  • Lupines were introduced to northern Europe in the 18th century as food for livestock, poultry, and pigs. To date, non-toxic lupine varieties are an important fodder protein for cattle in North America and Europe.
  • Indigenous Native Americans use the lupine plant for medicinal purposes. Tea made from the leaves is used to treat nausea and internal bleeding. A poultice of lupine leaves is used to relieve inflammation, arthritis, and boils.
  • Cosmetically, in ancient times, lupine seeds were mixed with other ingredients to soften skin and freshen women’s complexions. In contemporary times, the oil from lupine seeds is used in dermatological formulations that promote cellular repair and regrowth!

How to grow Lupine flowers

Lupine flowers form tall, dense spire-like or tower-shaped flowers. Most hybrid varieties available today are herbaceous annual or perennial plants that grow up to 3-4 feet tall and about 1.5 meters wide.

  1. Plant the lupines in rich, moist, well-drained soil
  2. Place them where they can get at least six hours of direct sunlight on most days to grow and bloom their best.
  3. Water regularly.
  4. Apply an acidifying fertilizer to lower the soil pH of alkaline soils.

How to care for Lupine flowers

  1. Once established, water the lupines at least weekly if you haven’t gotten rainfall to prevent the soil from drying out.
  2. Apply fertilizer once every 4 weeks during the summer months.
  3. Stake taller varieties.
  4. Prune faded flowers to promote more blooms.
  5. Don’t cut dead spikes in the fall; wait until spring
  6. Add mulch around the plants for winter protection.

Best time to gift Lupine flowers

The diverse lupine flower meanings and symbolism make this flower a perfect gift for various occasions. The hardy nature of this plant and its ability to thrive in difficult conditions convey meanings of strength and resilience. Its blooms also carry messages of adoration or admiration, hope, and love.

Lupine flowers can be gifted to people on occasions of success or during difficult times. They symbolize hope and optimism for the future and can be a sign of encouragement and motivation.

They are also an excellent gift of thanks and gratitude. They can be presented to people who lent you their support, loyalty, and companionship when you struggled and needed help.

Lupine blooms can also be gifted to people celebrating certain important milestones. The dense, tiny flowers on the long tower-shaped blooms of the lupins represent the tiny steps and obstacles overcome on the journey to reach the milestone.

As a perennial flowering plant, the colorful blooms of the lupine carry diverse meanings and symbolism. You can hardly go wrong with including a few lupine blooms in your floral gifts and presentations. They convey a wide variety of positive and hopeful messages. They make for an ideal gift in various circumstances and are particularly notable for their messages of adoration, hope, and happiness.


The lupine flower is a beautiful spring and summertime flowering plant.

The unmistakable tell-tale tall spires of the lupine flower provide interesting, colorful architecture to garden landscapes and flower beds.

If you want to know and learn more about flowers, we at PansyMaiden can help you. Check out our fun, easy-to-read, and informative flower-related content that you will surely enjoy!