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. 😦
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: