Lupine (Lupinus perennis)

Host Plant: Frosted Elfin, Duskywings, Eastern Persius, Wild Indigo and Karner Blue

Nectar Plant: many insects

Flower Color: Blue, purple, pink, and white

Growth Habit: Herbaceous plant that grows to 2 feet tall

Range in North America: Eastern North America

Exposure: Full sun (northern US) and partial sun (southern US)

Hardiness: Zones 3-8

Soil Requirements: Medium to well drained soil

Sundial Lupine, Indian Beet, Blue Lupine, Old Maid’s Bonnets

Lupine (Lupinus perennis), a member of the Fabaceae (Bean Family), is a herbaceous perennial, that grows to 3 feet tall and blooms in the spring and summer with blue/purple flowers.  Lupine has been in decline due to loss of habitat and fragmentation leading to the rarity of the Karner Blue butterfly, which is dependent on it.

Frosted Elfin (Callophrys irus)

Frosted Elfin on a leaf – pondhawk from Winter Park, Florida, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Duskywing (Erynnis spp.)

Juvenal Duskywing on ground – Kaldari, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Eastern Persius (Erynnis persius)

Eastern Persius Moth on a flower – Bill Bouton from San Luis Obispo, CA, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Karner Blue (Plebejus melissa samuelis)

Karner Blue on a flower – USFWSmidwest, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

This plant is also favored by hummingbirds and bumblebees (Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center).

Lupine grows primarily in open woods and requires sun or part shade.  It is native to eastern North America and is rare in a lot of the northeastern states.

The genus name of this plant is derived from the genus name of the wolf (Lupus). (Missouri Botanical Garden).

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