|The lupine1 is any of several species in the genus Lupinus. Its leaves have a distinctive palm shape: several finger-like leaflets radiate from a central point. Lupines are prized for their broad spectrum of color and for their appealing bonnet shape.
Lupines that are cultivated for food are referred to as "sweet lupines", because they contain less toxic alkaloids than "bitter lupines". Ironically, although bitter lupines can cause lupine poisoning, sweet lupines can harbor mycotoxin-producing fungus (Phomopsis leptostromiformis); as such, ingesting sweet lupines can also be dangerous, sometimes leading to mycotoxin lupinosis, to which sheep are especially susceptible.
The origin of the name Lupinus is uncertain. Some believe that it comes from Lupus, Latin for "wolf" - an apt name for a flower that kills sheep from within.
1"Lupine is an American name, lupin is used in most other countries. Using the convention suggested in Lost Crops of the Incas, lupin is reserved for domesticated (crop) species, lupine for wild or horticultural types."
Journal maintained by lily22. Feel free to drop a comment.