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Lupine Flower Meaning and Symbolism

Lupine Flower Meaning and Symbolism

The Lupine flower has associations with wolves, despite not sharing a physical resemblance. Also known as the Bluebonnet, these unique flowers offer a beautiful upright spiked look and Lupine flower meanings of voraciousness, inner strength, and admiration. The color of the flower can also change the meaning. 

About the Lupine Flower

Lupine belongs to the Lupinus genus, containing over 500 species in the Fabaceae family. Most of the Lupine varieties that exist today are the creation of George Russell, a known horticulturist. The most famous Lupine is the Bluebonnet – the state flower of Texas.

History and Origin

The Lupine flower is native to North Africa, Australia, the Mediterranean, and the Americas and has a strong history. 

One Native American legend tells a lupine story of a tribe experiencing problems with famine due to a drought. Fear and hunger caused selfishness and panic to spread through the remaining tribe members. No one was willing to follow the spiritual guidance that said they should offer gifts and sacrifices. 

A young orphan decided to climb a hill, where she offered her doll to the spirituals. The doll was the only thing she had left to remind her of her family. 

When she placed her doll on the ground, rain fell to the spot. A lupine flower sprang up from each raindrop, resulting in the first lupines appearing on Earth.


A Lupine plant is easy to identify due to the stiff spikes of erect pea-like flowers that form on crowded racemes exploding from horizontal foliage.

These plants can grow to heights of 1 to five feet on hollow stiff stalks.

Lupine Flower Care

Lupine does best in neutral to slightly acidic and well-draining soil with a soil pH of 5.5 to 7. They require full to partial sun exposure and low maintenance. 

Wear protective gloves when handling or watering Lupines and glasses while pruning. They do best with 1″ of water weekly during summer.  

Uses Throughout History

Lupine seeds have been a major food source dating back to the Roman Empire. Also known as lupini or lupin beans, these seeds are rich in carotenoids and proteins. The seeds are only safe to eat when cooked; dried raw beans can be harmful.

Some Lupine species are also used for feeding poultry and livestock due to being a high-quality source of protein that’s more cost-effective than soybeans.

All types of Lupine classify as nitrogen fixers. They pull nitrogen from the air and transfer it back to the soil, improving the dirt’s health and helping nearby plants survive unfavorable conditions.

Native Americans made use of Lupines for medicinal purposes. For example, when made into tea from the leaves, it could treat nausea and internal bleeding. And a poultice from the plant could relieve boils, arthritis, and inflammation. 

Lupine Flower Symbolism

There are multiple lupine meanings, from the underworld and greek mythology – associating goddesses Aphrodite and Venus – to wolves. In Texas, the Bluebonnet became the state flower back in 1901.

Etymological Meaning

The genus name Lupinus is from the Latin word lupus, meaning wolf. It was once believed that these flowers stripped minerals from the ground, harming nearby plants.


These flowers symbolize a passion for life and all the different experiences you can try. 


The unique, upright look gives these flowers the meaning of admiration because you can’t help but appreciate the flower’s beauty. 

Inner Strength

The durability and resilience of these flowers to grow in any soil, boosting the soil’s nitrogen content for other plants to use, give them the symbolism of inner strength. 

Lupine Flower Color Meaning

The lupine flower meaning can change based on flower color. 


A Lupines flower in white is symbolic of self-sacrifice and forgiveness. It can also represent deep compassion for others and selflessness.


Red lupine flowers are associated with a heart of the brave, a determination in life, unsurpassed endurance, and passionate admiration. 


A lupine flower in blue indicates a person’s emotional sensitivity. It indicates feelings of empathy and sorrow for a person who needs understanding.


A yellow lupine plant is indicative of a struggle for survival and uncertainty during voyages. It’s the perfect color for an adventurous spirit who enjoys facing the challenges present every day.


The pink lupine flower can remind you of memories from a person who has passed on. It will represent unforgettable and cherished memories.


Use a purple lupine flower to demonstrate an unspoken message of the kindness of the heart, loyalty, royalty, determination, and generosity. 

Lupine Flower FAQ

Find out more about the Lupine flower with these commonly asked questions.

When Should You Give Someone a Lupine Flower?

A Lupine flower is a suitable gift for almost any occasion, especially when you want to send messages of adoration, love, and hope. Use this flower to thank someone loyal to you or there for you when you need support. It’s also nice for milestone celebrations.

Are Lupine Flowers Fragrant?

Lupines have a sweet, rich fragrance. 

What Does a Lupine Flower Tattoo Represent?

A lupine flower tattoo can represent your hunger for life and all the possible opportunities. Or a lupine tattoo could mean an adoration for someone who brings you happiness and helps you adjust to life’s challenges. This tattoo is also symbolic of loyalty, family, and a drive to succeed.

Are Lupine Flowers Poisonous?

Lupine plant seeds and flowers are toxic (poisonous) when ingested raw. 

Are Lupines Perennials or Annuals?

Many people wonder are lupines perennials or annuals. Some classify the 500 species as perennials, and others act as annuals.

Lupine Flowers Meaning: Final Thoughts

Lupine flowers offer a unique, hardy look with little maintenance once established in growth. Also known as the Bluebonnet or the state flower of Texas, this plant comes in multiple flower colors and has various meanings.