Skyblue lupine plant in bloom

Skyblue lupine

Pictured above: Skyblue lupine (Lupinus diffusus) by Mary Keim. Click on terms for botanical definitions. View post as a PDF.

Skyblue lupine is a lovely herbaceous perennial that occurs primarily in dry flatwoods and blooms in spring. The range of this species previously included similar looking plants throughout peninsular Florida; however, research published in 2024 separated out four distinct species: L. cumulicola, L. floridanus, L. ocalensis and L. pilosior, all of which were previously included in the broader definition of Lupinus diffusus.

Skyblue lupine 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 lanceolatealternately 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 flower and seed pod
Skyblue lupine flower and hairy seed pod. Photo by Mary Keim

Due to both a deep sensitive taproot and a reliance on symbiotic bacteria found in the soil of its natural habitat, Skyblue lupine is not easily cultivated. Even when seeds are successfully germinated, plants do not typically succeed in altered landscape environments.

Family: Fabaceae (Legume, bean or pea family)
Native range: Panhandle
To see where natural populations of skyblue lupine have been vouchered, visit
Lifespan: Perennial
Soil: Well-drained sand
Exposure: Full sun
Growth habit: 2–3’ tall and equally wide

Skyblue lupine plants are not commercially available. Visit a natural area to see them.

Learn more about Skyblue lupine from the Florida Native Plant Society.

For information on other Lupinus species, see these resources:

Lady lupine

Lady lupine (Lupinus villosus) is a stunning spring bloomer endemic to the Southeastern Coastal Plain. It thrives in the deep, well-drained sandy soils of sandhill habitats.
Read more… Lady lupine

Sundial lupine

Of Florida’s four native Lupine species, the Sundial lupine (Lupinus perennis) has a unique style, from its ombré blooms that transition from light blue to violet purple to its palmately compound leaves.
Read more… Sundial lupine