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Lupines grow wild in a field close to my home. The colors are so vivid and beautiful every summer.
I spotted this sparrow perched on one of the lupines, enjoying the evening sun.
Location: Powassan, Ontario, Canada
Lupine flowers are tall and showy.
The lupine wild flower (Lupinus perennis) is a perennial flower that grows wild across much of the eastern United States. This member of the legume family also can be grown in the home garden in most climates, save tropical areas. The small flowers, which grow on a spike and range in color from pale blue to violet, bloom in the spring and last for one to two weeks.
1. Wild lupine flowers have long, slender green leaves arranged in a pinwheel shape. The plant can grow up to 2 feet tall. The flower stalks can be anywhere from 3 inches to 7 inches tall and are lined on each side with many small, bell-shaped flowers. The flowers range in color from pale blue to a darker purple color. The seed pods are elongated and up to 2 inches long, with a fuzzy covering. Each pod contains between 10 and 20 seeds. As the pods dry, they twist and eventually pop open, shooting seeds in all directions. Each plant has a long taproot, which makes them difficult to transplant.
2. Lupine perennis can be found stretching from New England south to the northern tip of Florida, including the Atlantic coastal states and east through Kentucky and West Virginia. The wild lupine is also found growing from Florida west to parts of eastern Texas, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
3. Wild lupines grow from seed. They grow best when sowed in the fall. Plant them after the first frost. You can simply scatter them on the soil, or lightly cover them with a thin layer of sediment. In the spring, watch for shoots to appear and keep the soil moist until the flowers bloom. These flowers grow best in sandy soil, according to Northwest Ohio Nature. They also need plenty of sunlight to survive—one reason they are commonly found growing on the open prairie.
5. All parts of the wild lupine flower are poisonous to humans, pets, horses and other livestock. For that reason, they are not good for grazing, although deer can (and do) eat these plants. Small mammals and birds also eat the seeds, which are poisonous to humans.