Skyblue Lupine, Lupinus diffusus
|Skyblue Lupine, Lupinus diffusus flowering and fruiting in Split Oak Forest March 17th, 2019. Photo © Tayler Figueroa.|
It's leaves are eaten by the Frosted Elfin (Callophyris irus) butterfly, which is Listed Endangered in Florida1. It's also eaten by Grey Hairstreak (Strymon melinis) larvae, Genista Broom Moth (Uresiphita reversalis) larvae and many other butterflies and moths that use members of the Fabaceae family.
The flowers are visited by many species of bees and butterflies, but appear to be particularly significant to bumble bees (Bombus spp.).
|Brown-Belted Bumble Bee (Bombus griseocollus) on Skyblue Lupine (Lupinus diffusus) in Split Oak Forest. Photo CC BY-NC Stacey Klema|
Lupines have been used for food, livestock fodder, and medicine (related: Roger Hammer on Sandhill Lupine, Lupinus cumulicola). There's still enough commercial interest in lupines that the International Lupin Conference was just held in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
|Skyblue Lupine (Lupinus diffusus) in full flower in Goldhead Branch State Park, Clay County, March 2019. Photo by Susan Carr.|
Please see our Skyblue Lupine Flickr album for more photos.
References Berthet, Bill. 2017. Critically Imperiled Elfins Disappearing from the Forest. Florida Native Plant Society Blog. link
 Kurlovich, B.S. Subgen. PLATYCARPOS (S.Wats.) Kurl. and Subgen. LUPINUS. Biodiversity of Lupines. link
Florida Native Plant Society. Lupinus diffusis Skyblue Lupine. FNPS Plant Database. link
Florida Wildflower Federation. 2019. Flower Friday - Skyblue lupine. link
Sedore, David. 2015. Skyblue Lupine. Wild South Florida Blog. link
by Valerie Anderson, staff email