Florida Native Lupine, Lupinus diffusus, is not a terribly common flower around here, but one that I find so attractive. We recently came upon this one along a state forest road.
As indicated by the flower shape, it is in the pea family.
Lupines grow only in lean soil. The name comes from the Latin, Lupus, meaning “wolf”. Lupinus means “of wolves”. Early Romans thought the plant actually stole all the nutrients from the soil leaving it only fit for wolves. The opposite is actually true: it adds nutrients to the soil and is considered a good cover crop. Interesting that the name may be wolf but it has leaves like lamb’s ears.