Featured Flower: Lupin
Lupines are native to California (among other places) and grace our hills and meadows with a burst of blue-purple. Often called bluebonnets, or vetch, they have pea-pods, a beautiful palmate or rounded, star-shaped, fuzzy leaves of sage green rimmed with a lighter shade which can appear almost white in some light. They grow both as single stems and on bushes.
They bloom in spring through summer, occurring in the spring in meadows and into the late summer at the coast where the weather is cooler and damp.
I have seen them blooming at Bodega Head in August. Many of these pictures were taken just last month at Shell Beach. Lupin can be blue-purple with varying amounts of white or they can be yellow.
Every once in a while you can find a new color variation forming, like the hybrid (blue, yellow) shown below.
Lupines add nitrogen to the soil and are the only food for the Karner blue butterfly.
Lupin are lovely, simple plants. Not simple in their shape, which is quite complex (tiered and multi-layered spokes of pea-blossom shaped blooms), but in their honey scent and their happy message. Perhaps because of their bright colors and airy construction, Lupins are associated with good news, happiness, cheer, lightheartedness, and imagination.
Growing up near the coast, they remind me of home, the simple beauty and comfort of my mom’s clean sheets blowing on the clothes line just before the fog comes rolling in and the warm fire waiting inside. What are your associations with this flower?