Showing posts from September, 2017

Wednesday's Wildflower: Sandhill Lupine

Lupinus cumulicola Text and photo by Roger L. Hammer, edited by Valerie Anderson From January to May each year the white sand scrub on the Lake Wales Ridge in Lake, Osceola, Polk, and Highlands Counties are adorned with the cheery blue flowers of the Florida endemic sandhill lupine (pronounced LOO-PIN).  Some botanists consider it a synonym of  Lupinus diffusus ,  but others argue that  L. diffusis differs by its habitat, range, prostrate to decumbent stems, orbicular-reniform (kidney-shaped) standard, and a nearly straight beak on the pods.  The stems of  Lupinus cumulicola  are usually erect with gray-green, silky pubescent, elliptic leaves that average 2”–3” long and about 1” wide. The pods have a curved beak. Lupinus  is taken from  lupus,  or “wolf,” and alludes to the curious belief that these plants consumed soil fertility, when, in fact, they improve the soil with nitrogen-fixing bacteria. The species name  cumulicola  means “dweller on a heap or m