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NPIN: Native Plant Database

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Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet)
Flaigg, Norman G.

Lupinus texensis

Lupinus texensis Hook.

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

Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Synonym(s):

USDA Symbol: lute

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

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 the state flower of Texas.

 

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

Distribution

USA: FL , LA , OK , TX
Native Distribution: South central to north central Texas mainly in the Blackland Prairie and Edwards Plateau. Planted extensively along roadsides in Texas and Oklahoma, though endemic to Texas.
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.

Benefit

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

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees
Special Value to Bumble Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

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

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA

Propagation

Propagation Material: Seeds
Description: Propagate by sowing seed or planting seedlings in fall.
Seed Collection: Allow the bluebonnet to reseed itself by leaving the seed pods intact on the plant until they turn from yellow to brown.
Seed Treatment: Scarification will hasten germination. Put seeds in the freezer overnight and then douse with boiling water to crack seedcoats. Soaking seeds overnight is also effective. Drain water, add rhizobium, and plant.
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: Plants doing poorly sometimes respond to additional rhizobium applications.

Find Seed or Plants

Order seed of this species from Native American Seed and help support the Wildflower Center.

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Wintering over Bluebonnets in a pot in Oklahoma
November 22, 2009
I live near Tulsa, OK, and I have spent the last year trying to grow bluebonnets in a container. I have been very successful in this process and they are so beautiful and full, but now I am worried ab...
view the full question and answer

Plants for green roof in Mexico
August 06, 2008
Hello! I am checking local plants to plant on a Green Roof, and am researching on which are mostly to survive better. Is it possible to plant the following on a green roof?? (Root depth needed, basica...
view the full question and answer

More on bluebonnets
March 13, 2007
I want to go to the Willow loop north 7 miles or so of Fredericksburg to see the bluebonnets in bloom this year but don't know when the best time would be to see this spectacular view. I plan to be ...
view the full question and answer

From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

Wrights Nursery - Briggs, TX

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Fredericksburg Nature Center - Fredericksburg, TX
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Sibley Nature Center - Midland, TX
Brackenridge Field Laboratory - Austin, TX
Patsy Glenn Refuge - Wimberley, TX
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
NPSOT - Austin Chapter - Austin, TX
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
Jacob's Well Natural Area - Wimberley, TX
NPSOT - Williamson County Chapter - Georgetown, TX

Herbarium Specimen(s)

NPSOT 0839 Collected Mar 27, 1994 in Bexar County by Harry Cliffe
NPSOT 0176 Collected May 8, 1991 in Bexar County by Judith C. Berry
NPSOT 1049 Collected Apr 3, 1994 in Bexar County by Lottie Millsaps

3 specimen(s) available in the Digital Herbarium

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-84 Collected 2007-05-07 in Travis County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank

Bibliography

Bibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright
Bibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
Bibref 355 - Landscaping with Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest (1991) Miller, G. O.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 281 - Shinners & Mahler's Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas (1999) Diggs, G. M.; B. L. Lipscomb; B. O'Kennon; W. F...
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
Bibref 291 - Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife (1999) Damude, N. & K.C. Bender
Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.
Bibref 286 - Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country (1989) Enquist, M.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 6 - Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database]. (18) USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program, National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter 1984 VOL. 1, NO.2 - Lady Bird Finds Wildflower Lovers Everywhere, Center Expands With New Building, ...
Wildflower Newsletter 1984 VOL. 1, NO.3 - Lady Bird Looks Forward to Fall\'s Activity, Gardeners Celebrate a Decade of Ope...
Wildflower Newsletter 1985 VOL. 2, NO.1 - A Glorious Spring, Lupines in Landscapes, Director's Report, Notable Quote, Wild...
Wildflower Newsletter 1989 VOL. 6, NO.2 - Wildflower Network Operates in Louisiana, Wildflower Handbook Published, Researc...
Wildflower Newsletter 1990 VOL. 7, NO.3 - Is Wildflower Collecting a Good School Activity, Wildflower Center Study Finds C...
Wildflower Newsletter 1990 VOL. 7, NO.6 - Members Respond to Grasslands Appeal, Wildflower Center Opening Midwest Regional...
Wildflower Newsletter 1992 VOL. 9, NO.4 - Ten Year Anniversary Celebration, Butterfly Gardening, Director's Report, Create...
Wildflower Newsletter 1998 VOL. 15, NO.4 - Grasses from the Ground Up, Celebrating Wildflowers Hotline, Executive Director\...

Additional resources

USDA: Find Lupinus texensis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Lupinus texensis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Lupinus texensis

Metadata

Record Modified: 2014-01-29
Research By: TWC Staff

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