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Any of about 200 species of herbaceous and partly woody plants that make up the genus Lupinus in the pea family (seelegume), found throughout the Mediterranean and especially on the prairies of western North America. Many are grown in the U.S. as ornamentals, and a few species are useful as cover or forage crops. Herbaceous lupines, which grow up to 4 ft (1.25 m) tall, have low, divided leaves and an upright flower spike, and many are hybridized for gardens. The name comes from the Latin for wolf because these plants were once thought to deplete, or wolf, minerals from the soil; in actuality some species aid soil fertility through nitrogen fixation.
Variants of LUPINE
lupine or lupin
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on lupine, visit Britannica.com.