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Friday, March 20, 2015

Flower Friday: It's spring in Florida's scrub -- Skyblue lupine is in bloom!

Photo by Alan Cressler,
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Skyblue lupine (Lupinus diffusus)

Skyblue lupine is a lovely herbaceous perennial that occurs primarily in scrubby habitats. Its flowers are born on dense spikes. They have a broad
upper petal and two lower petals that are fused. Flowers are bluish to lavender, with a white spot on the upper petal. Leaves are elliptical to lanceolate, alternately arranged, and covered in many fine, silvery white hairs, giving them a metallic look. They are soft to the touch. Fruits are elongated, flattened pods that are also covered in fine, silvery white hairs.

Skyblue lupine flowers in spring. It occurs naturally in sand and oak scrub, sandhills, pine flatwoods and coastal strands.

Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Native range: Peninsula (except Miami-Dade and Monroe counties) and western Panhandle
Hardiness: Zones 8-10
Photo by Lisa Roberts
Soil
: Well-drained, sandy soil
Exposure: Full sun
Growth habit: 2–3' tall and equally wide 

Garden tips: Skyblue lupine is not easy to propagate. Seeds can be collected and sown in late spring or early summer, but they must be sown where the plant will live as they do not transplant well. Plants have a taproot so deep soil is required.

 



To see where skyblue lupine occurs naturally, visit www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Plant.aspx?id=2988.

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