Meet my friend Lupine

lupine in my Dad's garden

lupine in my Dad’s garden

First let’s clarify, lupine and I are not close friends.  I haven’t been able to coax them into living in my garden for more than a few years before they die but I have adored this plant since I was a child where they can be seen growing sprinkled throughout the fields and roadsides in Northern NH.  Does that make me a lupine groupie?!?

There is even a festival to celebrate these flowers.  Imagine my surprise when I recently learned that my beloved purple lupine are naturalized garden plants and not native to NH!  There is one native variety of lupine, Lupinus perennis, that grows in sandy soils and prefers pine barrens and is the only food for the Karner Blue butterfly which had disappeared from NH. There are now efforts underway to save the native lupine and restore the Karner Blue to its native habitat.

I have some lovely photos of alpine lupine from Mt. Rainer and a beautiful silver lupine from Mt. Lassen in California but these are actual 35mm prints from before I had a digital camera so I can’t share them.  😦

lupine in evening light

lupine in evening light

lupines - foggy day in Lubec, Maine

lupines – foggy day in Lubec, Maine

Miss Rumphius Book Cover

Miss Rumphius Book Cover

Lastly, if you have never read the book Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney- I strongly encourage you to.  It is an inspiring and delightful story of Alice who sets about making the world more beautiful by sowing lupine seeds where she lived along the cost of Maine.

Meet more of my flower friends in previous posts:

Solomon’s Seal

Stinking Benjamin

My Daffy friends


Do you love lupine too?

8 thoughts on “Meet my friend Lupine

  1. Hi — wonderful shots and homage to lupins! They blaze their way through rural Nova Scotia as well (very much the part of the world you’re already talking about), where you see them roadside as well as in gardens. There are colours other than purple, but they seem to revert to purple when left to their own devices.j As a lupin lover, do you know the Monty Python sketch??


    • It is always interesting to see the color variation in plants. I’m always fascinated to watch new colors show up when plants reproduce. Thanks for the tip about the Monty Python sketch. Found it on you tube – a good laugh!


  2. I have tried to have lupine in my Utah garden by paying attention to it and not paying attention to it. It didn’t work either time. Most mountain flowers were fine, but not the lupine. Perhaps they want to pick their own homes.


  3. I, too, love lupines and bought a few plants this year hoping that they will re-seed themselves in my landscape and delight us with their shape and color for years to come. There’s hope….
    I also know the book, Miss Rumphius, and really enjoyed it. Like a female Johnny Appleseed….


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