Wildlife Journal Junior!
New Hampshire PBS

Home       |       Wild Files       |       N.H. Animals       |       Animals A-Z       |       Watch Online

Wild Blue Lupine - Lupinus perennis

The wild blue lupine, or common lupine, is a member of the Fabaceae, or pea family. It is found in the wild in pine barrens and sandy areas in the eastern United States. Fire suppression and habitat loss has led to fewer wild blue lupine in the wild. The wild blue lupine is the only food source of the caterpillar of the endangered Karner blue butterfly and is an important food source for the caterpillar of the frosted elfin butterfly. The introduction of other lupine species in its natural habitat and interbreeding between lupine species has also caused problems for the wild blue lupine population.    


The blue lupine has a long stem with clusters of blue pea-like flowers. It is 8-24 inches tall. The flowers bloom from April through July.


The blue lupine is found in fields and dry, open woodlands.


The blue lupine is found from Maine south to Florida and west to Minnesota and Louisiana

Fun Fact

The lupine gets its name from the Latin word for wolf - lupus. It was once thought that the lupine plant absorbed or "wolfed up" all the mineral content from the soil. We know know that the plant actually is a nitrogen fixer. Its roots have nodes with colonies of nitrogen fixing bacteria that help it survive in nutrient poor soil. Lupine actually deposit nitrogen into the soil!