Wednesday Wildflowers: Sundial and Skyblue Lupines
Today's Wednesday's Wildflower features two species of Lupine, the Skyblue Lupine, submitted by Roger Hammer, and the Sundial Lupine, submitted by Bill Berthet
Skyblue Lupine, Lupinus cumulicola
Text and photo by Roger Hammer, Dade Chapter
|Skyblue Lupine, by Roger Hammer|
Sundial Lupine, Lupinus perennis
Text and photos by Bill Berthet, Ixia Chapter
|Sundial Lupine, 04-22-2016 Nassau Co, Bill Berthet|
Every spring, I look forward to the emergence of the wildflower Sundial Lupine, Lupinus perennis gracilis, in Nassau and Clay Counties. I look for eggs, larvae, and adult Frosted Elfin, Callophrys irus arsace, butterflies that only use this lupine as a host plant and sometimes nectar source.
|The egg and larvae of the Frosted Elfin on Sundial Lupine, Bill Berthet|
Lupinus is from the latin word Lupus meaning “wolf” alluding to the belief that these plants robbed the soil. This is opposite of the truth, since Lupine actually helps to increase soil nitrogen.
|Newly emerging Sundial Lupine 02-02-2017 Nassau Co.,|
Flowers are pea-shaped, bluish purple, rarely pink or white. Fruit is a hairy pod seed head that bursts open at maturity scattering the poisonous seeds. Native Americans drank a leaf tea made from this Lupine for nausea and internal hemorrhaging.
Read more about the imperiled Frosted Elfin and its lupine relationship in a previous blog by Bill here.