Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Coastal BC Plants: Arctic Lupine

Arctic Lupine

An Arctic Lupine growing on the rocky shore.
We went on a summer camping trip to the head of Goat Lake. We beached our barge to offload quads and camp on the empty deck.

The next morning we rode north on Goat Main. Not far past the barge ramp there's a spur down to the Eldred River.

During winter and spring runoff the river runs high and fast. In summer it recedes to reveal extensive gravel bars. That's where I found an Arctic Lupine amid the stones.


The Arctic Lupine (Lupinus arcticus) is found in meadows, clearings, roadsides and open forests from Alaska to Oregon. It's a perennial herb from the pea family (Fabaceae). On this gravel bar it's hard to imagine it lasting through floods, but the roots must be very hardy.


The leaves are mostly at the base, but also grow along the short stems. The shape is palmate with 6 to 10 leaflets. The cup shape allows them to capture and hold raindrops, and in this case dew from the night before. This lupine is located in close proximity to the river, but in its rocky location doesn't get much moisture during dry summer months.


The flowers are on taller stalks and are most commonly blue. More rare is whitish-pink.


The seeds are a giveaway that it's in the pea family. The pods are 2-4 cm long and covered with fine hairs. Inside there are from 5 to 8 seeds. I was lucky to find this plant with lush foliage, flowers in bloom and seed pods all at the same time.  -- Margy

Reference: E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia (online).

16 comments:

  1. Wonderful trip you've made! That flower is gorgeous, I can't remember ever having seen one before.

    Have a splendid ♥-warming ABC-Wednes-day / -week
    ♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ (abc-w-team)
    http://melodymusic.nl/21-l/.

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    1. We have several kinds of lupine here including a giant variety that is very impressive. - Margy

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  2. Wow - nice trip. Photos are wonderful - as always. The lupines are wonderful, wonderful!

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    1. Wayne loves to fish and I love to walk around and take pictures, works out well for us. - Margy

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  3. Interesting post and very pretty pictures.

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  4. Thanks for sharing! Our lupine looks very similar in California. Love that colour!

    -Soma

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    1. I used to live in California. I loved it when the poppies and lupine would bloom along the side of the freeway. Made me remember that there were wild spots even in the huge Los Angeles sprawl. - Margy

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  5. THey are similar to the lupine that popped out of no where on the side of our driveway this year. I was so happy to see them. I hope more will grace the area again next year.

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    1. One year I had a beautiful Giant Lupine bloom on one of the floating logs in front of our cabin. I saved the seeds and spread them around the following year, but got no new plants. - Margy

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  6. You have amazing adventures!

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  7. "lucky to find this plant with lush foliage, flowers in bloom and seed pods all at the same time"...you certainly WERE lucky, Margy but, if anyone's going to find beauty such as the Arctic Lupine, I'd say it would be you, because you are such a dedicated explorer.
    Kay
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

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    1. It was fun to find it in all forms. Made for an easier identification. - Margy

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  8. That must be a hardy plant!
    ROG, ABCW

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    1. Probably a seed washed down during the river's flood stage, or as you say a hardy root that could withstand the deluge. - Margy

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  9. We have desert lupine down here in Southern Calif. I just googled and, apparently, California is home to 70 species of lupine! Who knew?! I'm with Kay Davies....you are a dedicated explorer, Margy. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Spring in Southern California was always a beautiful time. Loved the poppies mixed with lupines a lot. - Margy

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