Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Lupinus texensis

Texas bluebonnet, Bluebonnet, Texas lupine, Buffalo clover, Wolf flower

Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet)
Flaigg, Norman G.
Texas lupine has larger, more sharply pointed leaves and more numerous flower heads than similar lupines. Light-green, velvety, palmately compound leaves (usually five leaflets) are born from branching, 6-18 in. stems. These stems are topped by clusters of up to 50 fragrant, blue, pea-like flowers. The tip of the cluster is conspicuously white.

This is the species often planted by highway departments and garden clubs and is one of the six Lupinus species which are collectively designated the state flower of Texas.

Image Gallery:

318 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Root Type: Tap
Leaf Complexity: Palmate
Leaf Shape: Oblanceolate
Leaf Pubescence: Glabrous
Leaf Apex: Acute
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Size Notes: Up to 60 cm tall.
Fruit: 2.5-4.2 cm
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Blue
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May


USA: FL , LA , OK , TX
Native Distribution: Louisiana west to west Texas, south to San Luis Potosi in northern Mexico. In Texas, found mainly in the Blackland Prairie and Edwards Plateau. Planted extensively along roadsides in Texas and Oklahoma.
Native Habitat: Praires; open fields; roadsides

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Limestone/chalky, Sandy Loam, Limestone-based, Calcareous, Sandy, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Caliche
Conditions Comments: Not only does the state flower of Texas bloom oceans of blue, but this famous wildflower forms attractive rosettes in winter. This is the species often used by highway departments and garden clubs. If planting this species in areas where it has not formerly grown, it may be helpful to inoculate the soil with a rhizobium (soil-borne bacteria which form nitrogen-rich root nodules) for lupines.


Use Ornamental: Wildflower meadow, Showy blooms ornamental, Easily grown
Use Wildlife: Bees
Warning: Plants in the genus Lupinus, especially the seeds, can be toxic to humans and animals if ingested. Sensitivity to a toxin varies with a personís age, weight, physical condition, and individual susceptibility. Children are most vulnerable because of their curiosity and small size. Toxicity can vary in a plant according to season, the plantís different parts, and its stage of growth; and plants can absorb toxic substances, such as herbicides, pesticides, and pollutants from the water, air, and soil.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Hairstreak butterfly, Elfin butterfly
Deer Resistant: Moderate

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Lupinus texensis is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
(Microtia elva)

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA

Last Update: 2016-08-18