Lupine Meaning and Symbolism in the Language of Flowers

Lupine flowers carry various symbolic meanings in the language of flowers, often derived from their striking appearance and cultural significance through the ages. Most commonly they’re associated with sentiments of strength, protection, and transformation. Join me as I uncover the amazing symbolic heritage of these statement garden flowers.

Lupine Flower Meaning and Symbolism (Essential Guide)

Etymological Meaning

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the common name “lupine” comes from the scientific name Lupinus – which comes from the Latin word for wolf, as wolves used to eat these plants.

Myths and Folklore Associated with Lupine Flowers

Throughout history, Lupine flowers have carried the symbolic association of good luck. However, others believed that they could help ease anxiety or depression. Further, myths and folklore suggest that the petals have magical properties that could ward off negative energy and harmful spirits.

The most common legend and myth about these stunning flowers suggests they first grew wild on Mount Olympus during the Golden Age of Greece. 

Some say that Zeus himself gifted them to mortals as a sign of his favor. Others believe that Gaia (the goddess of Earth) gifted them to Apollo.

Lupine’s Legacy in Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome

The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans used lupine flowers for their dye properties. They held particularly prized red as it conveyed a sense of courage and strength. Kings and other elites often wore robes or hats dyed with lupine flowers to indicate their status.

The Victorian Langauge of Flowers

During the Victorian era, Lupine flowers spread across the United Kingdom. Victorians prized these plants for their beautiful blooms that came in various shades of blue, white, and pink.

The blooms were often used in artwork or stuffed into vases to add color to any room. To the Victorians, Lupines were positive, and emotive flowers that carried sentiments of protection and transformation.

Spirituality and Lupine Flowers

These tall flowers have strong spiritual ties too.

Christians use lupines for Easter celebrations. Buddhists, on the other hand, drink tea made from the plant during Buddhist holidays such as Vespers or Vesak Day. Some Hindus believe that the flower has magical properties.

Lupine Flowers and The Zodiac

The astrological and zodiac connections of lupine flowers are subjective. Some people may believe these flowers have links to Gemini or Cancer sign, while others see them as being associated with the Pisces or Aries sign.

Lupine Flowers in Art and Literature 

Some notable examples include Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night” painting, Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken,” and J. D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye.”

Suitable Gifting Occasions

Bouquet of purple, pink, and white Lupine flowers

In the language of flowers, Lupine flowers have primarily carried a positive sentiment and are a beautiful addition to any gift basket or floral arrangement. They make great gifts for birthday bouquets, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, New Year’s Eve, and many other special occasions.

The Final Word

If you’re looking for an easy-to-grow perennial flower that will add color AND fragrance to your garden seasonally, then lupines might be the perfect option! The beautiful Lupine is rich in meaning and symbolism and an excellent choice for gifting or ornamental gardens.

Contributing Editor | jade@petalrepublic.com | Full Bio

Jade is a writer, editor, and photographer with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and International Relations. She writes, edits, and photographs for several online publications in the gardening and lifestyle sphere. In her spare time, she reads and nurtures her urban garden and evergrowing houseplant collection.

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