Lupine Flower Meaning, Symbolism, and Uses You Should Know

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The Lupine flowers just about sound as sweet as its floral name! The flower’s fragrance smells as sweet and luscious as honey! As a matter of fact, it is the favorite sweet treat of the Karner blue butterfly and honey bees! If you are ever thinking about brightly colored flowers to spice up your garden, then the lupines should be your top choice!

The flower meaning and symbolism behind the lupine lies in its rich history and vibrant colors. These beautiful flowers grow in many wild fields and are mostly used as animal feed and ornamentals. Lupines come in many different colors.

These colors include white and yellow which means forgiveness and survival. Other colors such as red and blue represents admiration and sensitivity. Meanwhile, a pink and purple lupine each symbolizes unforgettable memories and loyalty.

History of the Lupine Plant

Wild lupines are flowering plants that were first cultivated over 2,000 years ago by Egyptians and some folk in the Mediterranean regions. This name was first formally used in the 14th century to define a flowering legume or perennial herb. 

The lupine species belong to the Lupinus genus of the pea or Fabaceae family. With over 200 species in the genus Lupinus of the pea family or legume family, the lupines are primarily native to the Mediterranean and North America. It is very easy to grow in regions in the northern hemisphere.

The genus name Lupinus derives from the lupinum or lupus which are a Greek and a Latin word for wolf. This derivation comes from the cultural belief that the flowers drain and dry the soil of its vitamins and nutrients. Surprisingly though, this translation is actually not true because it is a great nitrogen fixing plant. It can fix nitrogen from the air and produces rich nitrogen alkaloids.

Lupines grow best in somewhat difficult conditions but require little maintenance compared to other plants because it only requires full sun and warm water. These flowers can start growing in late winter and the flowers open during early spring as with the seeds pods burst forming dense clusters. When the flowers bloom during spring, it opens from the bottom of the stalk upwards which indicates healthy growth.

What’s amazing about lupines are the seed pods burst with 12 lupin seeds in each seed pod. Lupine plants growing are also called Lupins or Bluebonnets. It was George Russell who made the most notable discovery developing the Russell Hybrid Lupus. Some of the major lupine varieties specifically the Silky lupin (Lupinus sericeus), Texas Bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis), Wolfbean (Lupinus albus), Sundial lupin (Lupinus perennis), Velvet lupin (Lupinus leucophyllus), and Lady lupin (Lupinus villosus).

Symbolism of Lupine Flowers

The lupin flowers symbolize dark werewolf creatures of forests. Legend has it that since these flowers were believed to drain the soil of their nutrients, they also killed herds of lamb and sheep just like the big bad wolf in fairy tales! Believe it or not, lupines symbolize one’s voracious appetite, hunger for life, and wild imaginations.

Lupins are also associated with the underworld and new opportunities once crossing the dimension. According to famous mythologies, lupin brings to life the image and beauty of the goddesses Venus and Aphrodite. 

In the United States, the Texas Bluebonnet has been honored as the state flower of Texas since 1901 and is symbolic of overall happiness.

Meaning of Lupine Flowers

Lupine flower meanings are just as amazing and interesting as its symbolism. Its etymological meaning literally translates to wolf or wolf-like characteristics. It holds the symbolic meaning of having vast imaginations and excessive eagerness. During Victorian times, it was popularly stuffed in vases which meant a positive outlook in life and inner strength. 

Aside from this, it can also mean happiness and admiration. The mere sight of this flower also sends a message to its admirers. Meanwhile, the blossoms send a message of good health and fortune. It’s the perfect gift to give loved ones during milestone celebrations!

A white or pink white lupin flower holds the meaning of forgiveness and self-sacrifice. It is symbolic of selflessness and deep compassion for others.

What does a Red Lupine Blossom Symbolize?

The passionate admiration and unsurpassed endurance are symbolized by the red lupines. It stands for the heart of the brave and determined in life.

What does a Blue Lupine Floret Represent?

Blue lupins represent sensitivity to emotions. It embodies the feelings of sorrow and empathy towards those who need understanding.

What does a Yellow Lupine Bloom Indicate?

The yellow lupines are for those with an adventurous spirit and are ready to take on new challenges every day. It symbolizes uncertainty in voyages and the struggle for survival.

What does a Pink Lupine Flower Symbolize?

There really are flowers that exist to remind one of the precious memories of those who have moved on. Pink lupines do just that and are known to represent the most cherished and unforgettable and cherished memories.

What does a Purple Lupine Blossom Represent?

Generosity and loyalty are what a purple lupine flower stands for. It represents the determination and kindness of the heart. 

pink lupine

What is the Cultural Significance of a Lupine Flower?

The symbolic meaning of a brightened mind and heightened imagination comes from the written works of the Romans. Pliny wrote about the cultivation of Lupines as an article of food that can impart fresh complexion color and cheerfulness. Meanwhile, the Greek physician Hippocrates spoke of the Lupine as food along with other pods such as lentils, beans, and peas. These written cultures gave rise to the most popular use of Lupines today!

What is the Biblical Meaning Behind a Lupine Bloom?

Bolognese tradition believes that the Lupin was a voodoo during the flight of the Holy family into Egypt. It was said that these flowers attracted so much attention that the minions of Herald were led to where the Holy family was resting! 

Symbolically, the passing of a Lupine is like one’s mortality and the fleeting nature of power and wealth. 

What does a Lupine Flower Tattoo Symbolize?

The person choosing a lupine tattoo design wants to embody the sense of always being happy. It also represents one’s fanciful and cheerful nature.

Uses of Lupine Flowers

These plants are dubbed as toxic lupins because of the high level of an alkaloid found in the seed. Thanks to modern science, the toxicity wanes when the seeds are boiled and soaked in water before use as food or for medicinal purposes. Sweet lupine seeds are rich in protein content with minimally low oil concentrations. It can be used as food for many different farm animals and is eaten raw or cooked as a food source of protein by native Americans. 

The world’s lupin seeds production is around 1.38 million tons with Australia as the leading producer. During ancient times, pre Incan people and early Egyptians cooked and consumed the roots, leaves, and young plants. The toxicity wanes when the seeds are boiled and soaked in water before consuming. Aside from being cooked, it is also turned into a spice popularly sold in Israel to Jews of Egyptian heritage.

In traditional practices, the Menomini used blue Lupines for the care and maintenance of horses. These used the forage to fill the spirit of the horse with fire and determination. The Cherokee people also used the flower as an infusion remedy to stop internal bleeding, treat nausea, and vomiting.

Lupin seeds can also be combined with other ingredients to treat boils and other skin problems. Aside from being a good choice as a source of protein that’s gluten free, the seeds can also be extracted and used as cooking oil or cosmetic oil. It is rich in amino acids and fatty acids that help promote cellular repair and growth in the skin. A word of warning that it’s a must to always consult a medical professional before using this plant or any part of it for medical purposes.

~ image source: depositphotos/Yuriy_Vlasenko

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