It's time again for Wildflower Wednesday. If you've been driving the highways and biways in the Maritimes lately, I'm sure you can guess what this week's "feature flower" is... it's the lupin (also spelled lupine). Like many plants this spring, they are a week or two early. In fact in some areas, they are pretty well finished. Lupins can be found in North and South America, New Zealand and parts of Australia, the Andes, the Mediterranean and Africa. Here they are common in fields and along roadsides, growing well in poor sandy soil.You may not know that lupins are a genus in the legume family, and they enhance soil
fertility by "fixing" atmospheric nitrogen into a useable form in the soil. Lupins are also popular as garden plants - there are many hybrids and cultivars.
I don't have any lupins in my garden; they are short-lived as a perennial. (If deer plague your garden, lupins are a good choice as deer will not eat them.) I prefer to go out and "romp" through a "wild" field of them. Luckily there is a good big patch of them each year not far from where I live so I can easily visit it several times with camera in hand, to get my "fill"... I have many many lupin photos, but have chosen just a
few to share with you today. I hope you can feel the "Lupin Love".... Yep, Linda loves lupins!!
I love the "soft focus" effect of the shot above, left. I was going to crop away the right side to get rid of the old dead weed stalk when I noticed the sparrow sitting there... see him at the top right edge of the photo? I think he was posing for me...
I think the lupins are spectacular when blooming - tall erect spikes packed with flowers in a rainbow of colors, both solid and bi-color. The leaves are attractive too- palmate, like the spread fingers of your hand, often with 10 or more leaflets. The flowers are peaflower shaped and grow in whorls around the spike (seen clearly in photo at right). The fruit is a hairy pod which contains the seeds.
So I hope you'll enjoy your visit to my favourite lupin patch. What a great way to celebrate the first "official day" of summer!!
Peace and Happy Summer!
"Summer's lease hath all too short a date."
~ William Shakespeare